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Tax season is here, what you need to know before you file

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:35 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Tax season is upon us.

The IRS started accepting and processing 2021 tax season returns Monday.

This year’s tax season kicked off 17 days earlier than last year, and if you have all your tax documents ready, one local financial expert said it’s wise to go ahead and file now.

Tax season is underway, but the IRS is still playing catch up after the looming coronavirus pandemic caused a huge backlog last year when offices were forced to close and had to adjust to staffing shortages.

“Just last year, I know that people who waited until April to file, a lot of them didn’t even get their refunds until like the fall of 2021. So, filing as early as possible is definitely recommended,” said CEO & Financial Consultant for Xaris Financial Enterprises, Dr. JeFreda Brown.

But many are still waiting for last year’s returns.

Dr. Brown recommended holding off before sending a duplicate return saying it could further delay the process.

She recommended calling the IRS to ensure your documents have arrived.

“A lot of it is, they have your information, it’s not lost, they have it, they just haven’t been able to get to it, especially for amended returns because they had like millions of amended returns, and so, they’re still behind on those because they have to manually review those. Those can’t be processed by a computer, and then again, they’re understaffed,” Dr. Brown explained.

And before your file this year’s returns, she said to be on the lookout for a couple of documents from the IRS.

“There are two different letters that are going out to people. Letter number 64-19 is for those who have received the additional child tax credit payments during 2021, and then letter number 64-75 is for those who received the third stimulus payment, which I believe was sent out in March of 2021,” Dr. Brown said.

You can also find those documents on the IRS website.

Remember: families who received the child tax credits got half up front and will get the rest after they file their taxes.

Dr. Brown recommends working with a tax expert, especially if you have complicated returns.

She said the tax laws are always changing, and it’s best to have a professional prepare your return to avoid mistakes.

Taxes are due April 18th.

So far, the IRS has not indicated that it will extend that deadline.

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