(Here's what to do if you didn't get the IRS notice.). Here’s a guide to some key issues. The 2021 tax season is shaping up to be a confusing one, with an overwhelmed IRS trying to handle 2020 federal returns and stimulus payments. The Covid / Coronavirus stimulus payments you received will NOT affect your tax refund. Attention early tax return filers. If you're due a refund from the IRS, it'll include both your full refund amount and whatever you're owed from the Recovery Rebate Credit. The IRS will start accepting tax returns for the 2020 tax year on February 12, 2021. Most taxpayers got two economic-impact payments in Round 1 and Round 2. The tax-filing deadline for most Canadians (for the 2020 tax year) is on April 30, 2021. For taxpayers filing early who are claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit, the tool should update by February 22 (they should see refunds by the first week of March). And then there’s all the pandemic-related tax law changes to consider. You should file your taxes early so you can avoid delays when waiting for your tax refund. If you have child dependents, this information about the child tax credit could help put more money in your pocket. One out of five taxpayers don’t get their tax refunds by direct deposit. If one of your previous stimulus checks was mistakenly reduced, you can claim the difference as a tax credit when you file this year. Save for retirement by maxing out your 2020 IRA. Hence, Canadian taxpayers will have something new to tackle when filing their tax returns in 2021. To figure out whether and how much money you're owed from a previous round of stimulus checks, you first have to determine how much you were owed for each previous payment, then subtract from that any amount you already received. Substantiation rules for cash gifts by itemizers also apply to nonitemizers. From there, it could take anywhere from one to three days for the money to appear in your bank account. There are many reasons why the IRS might still owe you stimulus check money, including: The IRS requires you to fill out either form 1040 or 1040-SR if you're going to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 taxes. Doing your taxes is easier than you think. It'll also show you the last four digits of the bank account it was deposited in if it was deposited directly. The IRS says that paper-filed tax returns and paper checks will take even longer this year. And here's more information about stimulus checks and your 2020 taxes and when it's time to contact the IRS or set up a payment trace if your stimulus payment doesn't show up. In most cases, the ATO will only accept lodgement of 2021 tax returns after 01 July 2021. Faster assessment Benefit 3: The chance to set up direct deposit with the IRS or fix any errors. Photo by Kay Bell The 2021 filing season won't start until Feb. 12 this year. Most refunds are sent within 21 days of e-filing. ... 5 ways COVID-19 could affect your tax return. This year, the IRS didn't begin processing tax returns until Feb. 12, making that the soonest you could have submitted your return (April 15 is the last day to file). By filing now, you could also set yourself up so you don't have to wait until 2022 to claim any additional stimulus money from a potential third check. For gifts of $250 or more, you need a written acknowledgment from the charity. By Bethany Davis | January 22, 2021 at 6:18 AM CST - Updated January 22 at 9:18 AM However, you may want to file sooner. The fastest way to get your money is to file electronically and have the funds deposited in a bank account. There's also a form to help you figure out the amount you're owed on page 59 of this PDF detailing instructions for 1040 and 1040-SR tax forms, but it's a doozy to follow. Or, if you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return in 2018 or 2019 but won’t be for 2020, you may be eligible for the credit. (If you're on the hook for taxes but you're owed stimulus check money, the amount you have to fork over will be reduced. House Tax Committee Chides IRS About Slow Start To Tax Season, Urges Tax-Day Deadline Delay, IRS Delivers Covid-19 Surprise To Workers:  A Chance To Redo Their 2021 Health Plan And FSA Choices, Dollar Cost Averaging Vs. This is the safest and easiest way to file an accurate tax return and get a refund,” says IRS Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer Ken Corbin. Others had funds accidentally garnished. That’s the day when the IRS will start accepting and processing 2020 taxes. So, if you file on the first day, you might still be waiting until February 15 for your refund. If you’re self-employed and have more room for retirement savings, you can still open and fund a SEP-IRA for 2020 through April 15. “I can’t stress enough the importance of filing electronically and choosing direct deposit. If you no longer have that letter, you can use the IRS' Get My Payment tool to help figure out when you received the payment. With Congress Debating Round 3 Stimulus Payments, Should You Rush Or Wait To File Your 2020 Return? 4 reasons you'll want to file your taxes early in 2021 Benefit 1: The earlier you file your taxes, the sooner you'll get your tax refund (you can estimate the total here). If you got a refund, especially a big one, you can use the IRS tax withholding estimator to determine how much tax to withhold from your paycheck. The due date for first quarter 2021 estimated taxes is April 15, 2021. Some states are providing tax relief for the state tax hit on unemployment benefits. Any money you don't get as part of the automatic payment you'd have to claim a year from now on your 2021 taxes. If the IRS calculates your sum based on your 2019 life circumstances, you'd miss out on the rest of the check for a year or more, by the time it's processed. you won't be filing taxes for 2020, and you're still owed a stimulus check. The IRS is accepting 2020 tax returns starting February 12, 2021. You may opt-out by. Taxpayers have until Thursday, April 15, to file their returns and pay any tax owed. UPDATE, Jan. 15, 4:00 p.m.: The IRS opened up its Free File site on Jan. 15. A personalized refund date should show up 24 hours after you e-file. For details, see the new IRS Form 8915-E and instructions. That's the latest start to tax season we've ever seen. If you take out money for non-healthcare needs, you’ll owe taxes—plus a 20% penalty if you’re under 65. If you took a CARES Act 401(k) or IRA distribution in 2020 under the loosened rules for tapping your 401(k) penalty free, you can report all of the income on your 2020 tax return or in equal installments over three years. How early can I get an advance on my tax refund? The IRS says its Where's My Refund tool will reflect the status of your refund within 24 hours of filing, which could include a confirmation that your refund has been issued. Gig work is taxable. And here's how to calculate your adjusted gross income. Unemployment benefits are taxable. Benefit 1: The earlier you file your taxes, the sooner you'll get your tax refund (you can estimate the total here). Plus, getting your taxes filed could be your ticket to finally receiving the first or second stimulus payment if you're one of the millions who qualified for a check but didn't receive all the money -- even if it was a clerical error or some other issue that caused your check to never arrive. UPDATE, Jan. 15, 11:20 a.m.: The full 2021 filing season will start on Feb. 12. It did clarify that money purchase pension plans were eligible for the special rules. Save on time and effort by filing your tax return early. For example, if your income was lower in 2020 than 2019, you may be owed a partial credit. (There's more below on how to calculate how much money you might get in addition to your tax refund.). The IRS also gives this recommendation. That's frustrating for the millions of taxpayers who traditionally are early return filers. qualified for a check but didn't receive all the money, help you claim missing stimulus payment money, non-filers will also have to file a tax return, have to wait until 2022 to claim any additional stimulus money from a potential third check, you'd have to claim a year from now on your 2021 taxes, deposited directly into your bank account, Where's My Refund tool will reflect the status of your refund, this information about the child tax credit, how to calculate your adjusted gross income. Unlike last year, the IRS has NOT extended the tax return deadline in 2021. Lump Sum Investing—How To Decide, Investment Fees Can Invalidate The 4% Rule, Master List Of All Major International Airline Coronavirus Change And Cancellation Policies, How A 1% Investment Fee Can Wreck Your Retirement, IRS Mistakenly Tells 109,000 Taxpayers It Held Back Stimulus Payments To Offset 2007 Taxes, State Death Tax Hikes Loom: Where Not To Die In 2021, new $600 charitable tax deduction for 2021. You'd receive a $1,000 payment from the US Treasury. For 2020, the maximum contribution amount is $3,550 for individual coverage, or $7,100 for family coverage, plus a $1,000 catch-up if you’re 55 or older. IRS encourages early filing of 2020 tax returns It’s time to start thinking about your 2020 tax returns. The possiblity of a third stimulus payment may give families who faced financial hardship in 2020 another reason to file their tax returns early. People with direct deposit accounts on file with the IRS have typically received their stimulus payments faster than those getting money in the mail. There are a few solid reasons to file early. Is the IRS extending the tax return deadline past April 15, 2021? For 2020 and later, there is no age limit on making IRA contributions. Benefit 4: You'll stand a better chance of getting your full payment if, as seems likely, there's a new stimulus check approved in 2021. The normal deadline for tax filing and tax payment sticks in 2021 unless the CRA extends both deadlines again like last year. The IRS should've sent you a letter within 15 days of issuing your stimulus check, however it was issued, and that letter should show how much money you received. The backlog for paper returns is large and likely to grow, so anyone. Next, your tax returns play a big role in calculating the next round of stimulus check money. Tweak tax payments for 2021. The 2021 tax filing season is on the horizon and kicks off on February 22, 2021. For 2020, the limit on annual contributions to an IRA (pretax or Roth or a combination) is $6,000, plus a $1,000 catch-up contribution allowed if you’re 50 or older. In other words, it'll be bigger. While we're almost there, that's still 16 days later than last year. The Internal Revenue Service has just announced that the 2021 tax filing season start date will be Feburary 12, 2021. We explain what you need to know. In 2021, the IRS will begin e-File on February 12, 2021. That means you can make 2020 contributions through April 15, 2021. File electronically and use direct deposit. April 15, right now, is the deadline for submitting your tax return this year. This includes basic state benefits as well as the extra $600 weekly CARES Act federal pandemic benefits. This is a little bit later than normal, as the agency usually opens the filing season at the end of January. If you have self-employment income, make sure you keep track of deductible expenses relating to your gig, and if you’ve set up a home office, you might qualify for the home office deduction. tool. Check the IRS Where’s My Refund? The IRS says 90% of filers will receive their refunds in 21 days or sooner. You should have received a Form 1099-G showing the amount you were paid and any federal income taxes withheld. COVID-19 might be changing our taxes in 2021. If you picked up a side job during the pandemic, you have to include it on your tax return as self-employment income. But there are also benefits for the tens of millions of people who'll be eligible for a third stimulus payment of up to $1,400 per person -- a stimulus check that may arrive sooner than you think. Assuming seven days is the soonest you'd get your combined tax refund-stimulus payment and 21 days is the longest, we've sketched out what a difference filing sooner rather than later could make. Note: The enhanced retirement plan distribution rules were not extended for 2021 in the year-end 2020 tax package. The basic rule is this: Individuals must file a tax return if they have net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more from gig work, even if it’s a side job, part-time or temporary. It took months and months to clear through the backlog in 2020, and the … On the flip side, if you owe a lot at tax time, you might need to make estimated tax payments for 2021. Alternatively, you can recontribute money back into a retirement account and undo the tax consequences of the distribution. If you're owed a tax refund and stimulus money, both will arrive as part of the same payment. On the flip side, if you owe a lot at tax time, you might need to make estimated tax payments for 2021. Here's what to do if you're a non-filer, i.e. You need proof of your gift. If you didn’t get a 1099-G, check your state’s unemployment compensation website to access it. But you have a handful of good reasons to beat that April 15 date, besides taking care of the filing burden sooner rather than later. Yes, it's that simple. Federal income tax refunds will be delayed significantly in 2021 after the Internal Revenue Service announced a date for starting processing returns. When is Tax Day 2021? About 8 million non-filers will also have to file a tax return this year to get their stimulus payment. (If you received an EIP card, you can check the balance and transaction history here.) The sooner you file your taxes, the faster you could see that stimulus cash. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. The money goes in pretax, grows tax free, and comes out tax free if you use it for eligible healthcare expenses. So, if you were to owe $1,000 in taxes and you're missing $500 in stimulus check money, you'd only owe $500 instead of $1,000.). Save for healthcare expenses, or retirement, by maxing out your HSA. The Internal Revenue Service says taxpayers should expect limited face-to-face operations, heavy call volume and paper-processing delays as it opens today for tax season 2021, accepting tax returns for tax year 2020. But this year, the IRS won't start accepting 2020 tax returns until February 12, 2021. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. “Now we’re back to the standard hardship rules and standard plan loan rules.”. According to the latest proposal -- which is not law -- the IRS would base your third stimulus payment on your 2019 or 2020 taxes, whichever it has most recently on record. The 2021 tax filing season now is officially, although only partially, open. That's a great reason to file early every year. Early tax returns can be lodged before 01 July only in two special cases: 1. The CRA reminds taxpayers to gear up and prepare returns for 2020 taxes early. The deadline for filing your 2020 taxes is April 15, 2021. Details to come shortly in a separate post. 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