Americans hoping to get an early start on filing their 2020 tax returns will have to wait a few weeks. The IRS announced that it is pushing back the beginning of the filing season from late January to February 12. The agency said that it needs more time to prepare for changes made in the COVID relief bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 27.
The IRS explained that they need to update and test their systems to account for the Recovery Rebate Credit, which could result in a larger refund for many taxpayers.
“If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers,” the IRS said. “These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a recovery rebate credit when they file their return.”
The IRS is urging taxpayers to file their taxes electronically with direct deposit. The IRS hopes to send out refunds to taxpayers who file early and claim refundable tax credits by the first week of March.
“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation’s most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible.”
Despite the delay to start the filing season, the deadline to file your taxes remains April 15.