E-file your tax return early to prevent fraud.
The federal tax deadline has been moved from April 15 to April 18 this year.
The IRS began accepting tax returns on January 24.
Once you file, your refund should hit your bank account within three weeks with e-file and direct deposit.
See Personal Finance Insider’s picks for best tax software »
When are taxes due?
The federal tax deadline has been slightly extended for individuals for the 2022 tax year.
Typically, the deadline to file their taxes is April 15, although it’s been extended to May and beyond in recent years because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, it has moved to April 18 to accommodate the holiday of Emancipation Day on April 16, which is recognized in Washington DC. In Maine and Massachusetts, the deadline is pushed back another day for the holiday of Patriots’ Day on April 18.
The federal deadline for victims of the Marshall fire in Colorado is May 16, 2022.
State tax deadlines vary so make sure to check your state’s government website for accurate information.
When should I file taxes?
While you may have already started getting documents for 2021, the IRS started accepting tax returns on Monday, January 24.
It’s recommended to file electronically as soon as possible. The federal tax deadline is April 18, or April 19 for residents of Maine and Massachusetts. If you get a tax extension, you must file by October 15.
What do I need to file taxes?
Employees need W-2s and non-employees, including contractors or gig workers, need 1099s. These forms will either be mailed to you in February or will be available online through your payroll company.
Freelancers: If you received at least $600 in compensation in 2020 from a business where you were not traditionally employed, you’ll get Form 1099-NEC. This income was previously reported on Form 1099-MISC.
Banks are also required to send 1099s to customers who received interest or dividends.
If you still don’t have your W-2 by the tax deadline, you can use the W-2 substitute, Form 4852, and estimate your wages and withheld taxes. Note that the IRS could delay your refund while verifying the information.
You’ll also need your adjusted gross income (AGI) from the previous year to sign and file your tax return.
What do I do about missing tax forms?
If you don’t receive your income forms, you should first contact the employer and request a copy or ask that it be re-sent. If that doesn’t work, you can then contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 (expect long wait times). You’ll need to provide the following information:
Name, address, Social Security number, and phone numberYour employer’s name, address, and phone numberDates you worked for your employerAn estimate of your paid wages and federal income tax withheld during 2021
Do I have to pay taxes on unemployment income?
Yes, unemployment benefits received in 2021 are taxable.
The American Rescue Plan signed into law on March 11, 2021, allowed people with incomes of up to $150,000 to waive federal taxes on the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits collected in 2020. However, that exclusion does not apply to unemployment benefits received in 2021.
If you’re currently or have been recently unemployed and can’t afford to pay your taxes, make sure to file a return anyway — there is a penalty for filing late or neglecting to file at all. Then, you can request an installment agreement to help you pay taxes over time. You can do this online through the IRS website, by filling out Form 9465, or by calling the IRS for help.
How do I file taxes?
You can file online yourself, potentially for free, or visit a tax professional.
If your adjusted gross income (AGI) was less than $72,000 in 2021, you might qualify to file your federal return, and maybe your state return, at no cost through one of the IRS partners, regardless of how complicated your tax situation is. Also, most active duty military qualify for free filing. Check out your options here.
If your income exceeds $72,000, or you’re not interested in the platforms offered in partnership with the IRS, check out our list of the best tax software to use this year.
After filing out the required forms, your tax preparer will calculate whether you owe additional income tax or you’re getting a refund. If you don’t pay what you owe by April 18 (or request an extension), penalties may apply.
What if I can’t pay my tax bill?
If you can’t afford to pay your tax bill in full on the deadline, don’t pull out your credit card or ignore the situation.
The IRS offers reasonable payment plans at much lower interest rates than most banks. You may even be able to settle the bill for less than you owe, called an offer in compromise, or request a deferment until you can make a payment. Offers in compromise and requests for deferment require additional paperwork and must be approved by the IRS.
When will I get my tax refund?
The IRS is predicting significant delays in this year’s tax season, both because of unfinished past paperwork that has rolled into this year and because of the complexity of tax filing around last year’s child tax credits and economic impact payments. Taxpayers can expect longer wait times than usual for paper returns and to reach the IRS on the phone.
However, online filing remains the most efficient process, and is recommended by the IRS, which says 90% of people who e-file their tax return should get their federal refund within 21 days. In general, the IRS assures filers that the quickest — and safest — method for getting a federal refund is filing electronically and opting for direct deposit.
If your tax return was flagged by the IRS for errors, manual processing, or fraud detection, your refund could take longer.
To find out when your refund is coming once tax season begins, use the tracking tool on the IRS website beginning 24 hours after e-filing your return. You’ll need your exact refund amount, Social Security number or taxpayer ID number, and filing status.
How do I prevent tax fraud?
It’s easy to procrastinate filing your taxes, but putting it off makes you more vulnerable to fraud. If a scammer gets hold of your Social Security number and you haven’t filed a tax return yet, they could easily file a fake one in your name to get a refund.
Scam calls are ubiquitous during tax season. Keep in mind that if the IRS needs to get in touch with a taxpayer, it sends a letter — not an email, not a phone call, and definitely not a message over social media. Especially when it’s investigating cases of tax fraud or performing an audit.
Never return a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Instead, individuals should call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040, and businesses should call 1-800-829-4933.
The US Department of Justice says the IRS never discusses personal tax issues through unsolicited emails or texts, or over social media. Always be wary if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS who says you owe money.
If you receive an unexpected and suspicious email from the IRS, forward it to email@example.com.
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