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Tax Filing Season Begins as IRS Starts Accepting 2021 Returns

  • The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax returns today, two weeks sooner than usual
  • Small business group encourages early filing to avoid delays as the agency continues to process a backlog of 2020 returns
  • IRS encourages businesses to file electronically and ensure that all information is accurate to get a prompt refund

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The tax filing season officially kicks off today, as the Internal Revenue Service begins accepting and processing 2021 returns. Business owners are being encouraged to begin preparations early and file electronically to ensure the prompt delivery of a refund.

The season is opening two weeks earlier than usual, a move the IRS says is meant to allow the agency to perform programming and testing necessary to ensure that it’s systems are running smoothly. The IRS is also acknowledging that it is facing difficulties, including some 6 million returns yet to be processed for 2020, due to issues such as understaffing.

Keith Hall, president and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed, urged small business owners to begin their tax preparations early this year.

“Given these announcements, it’s even more important this year for small business owners to start early with gathering documents, reviewing updates and tax obligations,” said Hall. “Recent changes to the tax code are continuing to be made and those updates could likely have an impact on a lot of tax filers’ bottom-line budgets. Being prepared will help ensure your return is filed on time and without delay.”

  • The IRS is encouraging filers to complete the process electronically and ensure that all information is correctly reported to avoid delays
  • The IRS anticipates that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of their electronic filing if they choose direct deposit and there are no issues with their return
  • Unlike recent years, the IRS does not anticipate that it will push back the tax filing deadline; however, this year’s deadline of April 18 is three days later than usual due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C.
  • Filers in Massachusetts and Maine will have until April 19 to submit their returns due to the Patriots’ Day holiday
  • Those requesting an extension will need to file their returns by Oct. 17

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