Online resources and tools to use before, during and after filing
The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to use the IRS’ online tools and resources to find the information they need to be ready to file their 2021 federal income tax returns, including special steps related to economic impact payments and child tax credit advance payments.
Individuals, especially those who do not typically file taxes, are encouraged to file their 2021 tax returns electronically beginning January 24, 2022. The use of tax preparation software or a a trusted tax professional will help guide people through the process and avoid making mistakes. . Filing an incomplete or inaccurate return can mean a processing delay that slows down the resulting tax refund.
“There are a few simple steps people can take to make sure they avoid delays and receive a prompt refund,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “It is essential this year to avoid a paper tax return as much as possible and to file it electronically with direct deposit. And it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re filing an accurate tax return. The IRS urges people to review some simple tips that can help them avoid trouble and get their tax refunds back quickly.
This is the third in a series of reminders to help taxpayers prepare for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take now to make filing taxes easier.
IRS.gov tools are easy to use and available around the clock. Millions of people use them to find information about their accounts, get answers to tax questions, or file and pay taxes.
Recovery Rebate Credit / Economic Impact PaymentsIndividuals who did not qualify for a third Economic Impact Payment or who received less than the full amount may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit. They will need to know the total amount of their third Economic Impact Payments received to calculate the correct 2021 stimulus rebate credit amount when they file their 2021 tax return. correct payment amounts will help them avoid a processing delay that could slow down their repayment. Beginning in late January, the IRS will send letter 6475 with the total amount of the third economic impact payment received. People can also view their Economic Impact payments using their online account.
Child tax credit advance paymentsPeople will need to know the total amount of advance payments they received in 2021 to compare to the total child tax credit amount they can properly claim when they file their 2021 tax return. People who received the installments can access their account online to check the total amount of their installments. The IRS also sends letter 6419 to provide the total amount of child tax credit advance payments received in 2021. Eligible families who did not receive monthly advance payments in 2021 can still obtain a lump sum payment by claiming the child tax credit when they are filed. a 2021 federal tax return this year. This includes families who normally do not need to file a return.
Interactive Tax AssistantThe interactive tax wizard answers general tax law questions, including helping to determine if a type of income is taxable or if someone is eligible to claim certain credits and deductions. With changes in income and other life events for many in 2021, tax credits and deductions can mean more money in a taxpayer’s pocket. Thinking about eligibility now can help make filing taxes easier.
online accountTaxpayers can use their online account to securely view important information when preparing their tax return or tracking balances or notices. Taxpayers can see how much they owe, make and track payments, and view payment plan details. Taxpayers can now also manage their communication preferences to go paperless for certain IRS notices, or to receive email notifications when the IRS sends them a new digital notice. They can also access information about Economic Impact Payments and Child Tax Credit Advance Payments needed to file a complete and accurate return. Act now to create an account.
Where is my refund?Taxpayers can check the status of their refund using Where’s my refund? tool. Status is available within 24 hours of the IRS accepting their electronic tax return or up to four weeks after mailing a paper return. Where is my refund? the tool is updated once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.
Get ready to use direct deposit for tax refundsDirect deposit allows taxpayers to access their refund faster than a paper check. Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers. Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator tool. Veterans should visit the Veterans Benefits Banking Program to access financial services from participating banks.
IRS Free FileAnyone can file electronically for free. Starting Jan. 14, the IRS Free File program, available only through IRS.gov or the IRS2Go app, offers trademark tax preparation software packages. For those who earned $73,000 or less in 2021, they may qualify for the Free File guided tax software. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits, and exemptions. Some of the free file offers may include a free tax return. Taxpayers comfortable filling out tax forms can use Free Fillable Forms, the paper version of electronic federal tax forms, to file their taxes online, regardless of income.
Members of the military and eligible veterans can use MilTax, a Department of Defense program that typically offers free online tax preparation and e-filing software for federal returns and up to three tax returns. of state.
Free tax preparation siteThe IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax assistance and electronic filing to eligible taxpayers.
Choose a preparerThe IRS has several options for finding a tax preparer. The IRS provides an online database to help taxpayers locate an authorized electronic file provider in their area who can file their tax returns electronically. Choosing a Tax Professional provides information on selecting a tax professional. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Certain Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold IRS-recognized professional credentials or have a record of completing the annual filing season program. Taxpayers should remember that they, not the tax preparer, are responsible for the information on their tax return once they have signed it.
IRS.gov/getreadyLinks to online tools, publications, and other helpful resources are available at IRS.gov/getready. For more information on planning ahead, see Publication 5348, Get Ready to File and Publication 5349, Year-Round Tax Planning is for Everyone.