IRS Urging Americans to File Taxes Online: Here’s Why

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If you’re hoping to get your federal tax refund in a timely manner, you’d better start the process early and stick to filing online.

“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. “And IRS teams have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare. The pandemic continues to create challenges. But the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays.”

The IRS also reminded Americans that it will not extend the filing deadline this year. In 2021, the agency pushed the date from April 15th to May 17th. But this tax season will end promptly on April 18th.

However, in an effort to get refunds out quickly, the agency will accept tax returns early this season. Instead of opening the gate in February, people can submit their filings on Jan 24th.

The IRS is Asking Americans to Start Filing Their Taxes as Soon as Possible

The IRS expects around 160 million individual forms this year. So to make the process as efficient as possible, it is handing out tips that will help both the filers and the IRS employees.

“Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year,” Rettig said.

Taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2021 will have access to the IRS Free File Program. And that portal opens on January 14th. Other online services will open by the start of the season.

Rettig also noted that people who received the advance child tax credit or economic impact payment need to hold off on filing until the IRS mails them a letter showing how to properly report those earnings. The agency will put the letters in the mail this month.

Furthermore, every taxpayer needs to be particularly mindful while filling out their forms this year. Because the government is already expecting a chaotic season, simple mistakes could have people waiting much longer for their returns.

However, most taxpayers will see their refunds in the bank within 21 days of file—as long as the person heeds the IRS’s advice to file online, choose the direct deposit method, and begin filing early.

Of course, not every American will have all their necessary paperwork early. But they can still fill out their information as it becomes available. And anyone who hires professional tax help should go ahead and schedule their appointment now. Because slots are filling fast.

“If you are seeking the help of a professional tax preparer or a CPA to file your taxes,” said Sheneya Wilson, CPA and founder of Fola Financial in New York, “they may be super-bottlenecked [in April].”