IRS Free File Can Help People Who Have No Filing Requirement Find Overlooked Tax Credits and Get a Refund

The Internal Revenue Service urges low- and moderate-income individuals and families, especially those who don’t normally file a tax return, to use IRS Free File  to prepare their own federal tax return, e-file it and get a refund – all for free. This year’s federal tax filing deadline for individuals has been postponed to May 17 from April 15.

IRS Letters Explain Why Some 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits Are Different Than Expected

As people across the country file their 2020 tax returns, some are claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC). The IRS is mailing letters to some taxpayers who claimed the 2020 credit and may be getting a different amount than they expected.

It’s important to remember that the first and second Economic Impact Payments (EIP) were advance payments of the 2020 credit. Most eligible people already received the first and second payments and shouldn’t or don’t need to include this information on their 2020 tax return.

IRS Has Refunds Totaling $1.3 billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2017 Federal Income Tax Return

Unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.3 billion await an estimated 1.3 million taxpayers who did not file a 2017 Form 1040 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

“The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are due refunds but haven’t filed their 2017 tax returns yet,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on May 17. We want to help people get these refunds, but they will need to quickly file a 2017 tax return.”

IRS Reminds Taxpayers to Make April 15 Estimated Tax Payment

The Internal Revenue Service reminds self-employed individuals, retirees, investors, businesses, corporations and others who pay their taxes quarterly that the payment for the first quarter of 2021 is due Thursday, April 15, 2021.

The extension to May 17, 2021 for individuals to file their 2020 federal income taxes does not apply to estimated tax payments. The 2021 Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, can help taxpayers estimate their first quarterly tax payment.

IRS to Recalculate Taxes on Unemployment Benefits – Refunds to Start in May

To help taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it will take steps to automatically refund money this spring and summer to people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan.

The legislation, signed on March 11, allows taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified adjusted gross income to exclude unemployment compensation up to $20,400 if married filing jointly and $10,200 for all other eligible taxpayers. The legislation excludes only 2020 unemployment benefits from taxes.

IRS Projects Stimulus Payments to Non-filer Social Security and Other Federal Beneficiaries Will Be Disbursed Later This Week

As work continues on issuing millions of Economic Impact Payments to Americans, the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department announced that they anticipate payments will begin to be issued this weekend to Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries who do not normally file a tax return, with the projection that the majority of these payments would be sent electronically and received on April 7.

IRS Extends Additional Tax Deadlines for Individuals to May 17

The Internal Revenue Service announced that individuals have until May 17, 2021 to meet certain deadlines that would normally fall on April 15, such as making IRA contributions and filing certain claims for refund.

This follows a previous announcement from the IRS on March 17, that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year was extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.  Notice 2021-21 provides details on the additional tax deadlines which have been postponed until May 17.

More Economic Impact Payments Set for Disbursement in Coming Days – Taxpayers Should Watch Mail for Paper Checks, Debit Cards

The Internal Revenue Service announced the next batch of Economic Impact Payments will be issued to taxpayers this week, with many of these coming by paper check or prepaid debit card.

For taxpayers receiving direct deposit, this batch of payments began processing on Friday and will have an official pay date of Wednesday, March 24, with some people seeing these in their accounts earlier, potentially as provisional or pending deposits. A large number of this latest batch of payments will also be mailed, so taxpayers who do not receive a direct deposit by March 24 should watch the mail carefully in the coming weeks for a paper check or a prepaid debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment Card, or EIP Card.

Tax Time Guide – Use the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ Tool or IRS2Go App to Check Tax Refund Status

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that the most convenient way to check on a tax refund is by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool at IRS.gov or through the IRS2Go Mobile App.

Taxpayers can start checking their refund status within 24 hours after an e-filed return is received. In addition, “Where’s My Refund?” provides a personalized date after the return is processed and a refund is approved.

Tax Time Guide – IRS Reminds Taxpayers of Recent Changes to Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers about the rules for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts.

A retirement plan account owner must normally begin taking an RMD annually starting the year he or she reaches 70 ½ or 72, depending on their birthdate and maybe the year they retire. Retirement plans requiring RMDs include traditional, Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) Individual Retirement Accounts; 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), profit sharing and other defined contribution plans.

IRS Begins Delivering Third Round of Economic Impact Payments to Americans

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the third round of Economic Impact Payments will begin reaching Americans over the next week. Following approval of the American Rescue Plan Act, the first batch of payments will be sent by direct deposit, which some recipients will start receiving as early as this weekend, and with more receiving this coming week.

Tax Time Guide – Get Credit for IRA Contributions Made by April 15 on 2020 Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service notes that taxpayers of all ages may be able to claim a deduction on their 2020 tax return for contributions to their Individual Retirement Arrangement made through April 15, 2021. There is no longer a maximum age for making IRA contributions.

An IRA is designed to enable employees and the self-employed to save for retirement. Most taxpayers who work are eligible to start a traditional or Roth IRA or add money to an existing account.

Tax Time Guide – Make Protecting Tax and Financial Information a Habit

The Internal Revenue Service urges people to continue practicing proper cybersecurity habits by securing computers, phones and other devices. Scams and schemes using the IRS as a lure can take on many variations, so practicing personal information security is vital.

This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.

Tax Time Guide – Make IRS.gov First Stop for Tax Help

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that its website, IRS.gov, continues to be the first and best place for people seeking information and assistance on their federal taxes. It is available 24 hours a day from the comfort of home, on a desktop, or from just about anywhere with a mobile device.

The array of online tools and resources available at IRS.gov range from tax preparation and refund tracking to research tools like the Interactive Tax Assistant and answers for Frequently Asked Questions on many subjects.

Tax Time Guide – Didn’t Get Economic Impact Payments? Check Eligibility for Recovery Rebate Credit

The Internal Revenue Service reminds first-time filers and those who usually don’t have a federal filing requirement to consider filing a 2020 tax return. They may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, a new refundable credit, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the COVID-related Tax Relief Act.

Here’s Why People Filing Taxes for the First Time Should Use Free File

Many people will be filing federal taxes for the first time this year. For these taxpayers, IRS Free File is a great option, especially if they are looking to save money on tax preparation. Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit is the safest and easiest way to file an accurate tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.

Here are some facts about Free File programs:

Free Electronic Filing Options for Military Members and Their Families

Active duty military personnel have multiple options for free federal tax preparation. One is IRS Free File. This program offers online tax preparation, electronic filing and direct deposit of refunds, at no cost.

Members of military and their families who have income below $72,000 may choose from any of the Free File tax software companies to help them prepare their tax returns online.

Tax Time Guide – Select a Tax Return Preparer With Care

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to choose a tax return preparer with care. Even though the vast majority of tax return preparers provide honest, quality service, some cause great harm through fraud, identity theft and other scams every year.

People value good tax return preparers for helping them through a complicated tax situation or for being available when they don’t have time to prepare their own tax return. Paid tax return preparers completed more than half of the tax returns submitted to the IRS in tax-year 2018.

Tax Time Guide – How to Do Taxes for Free and Get Refunds Fast

IRS YouTube Videos:

Free Help Preparing Your Tax Return — English | Spanish | ASL

Do-It-Yourself Free Tax Preparation — English | Spanish

Do Your Taxes for Free With Free File – English | Spanish | ASL

During this tax season when many people are trying to stay safe at home, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers about ways to do their taxes for free online or with help from volunteers.

As Required by Law, All First and Second Economic Impact Payments Issued – Eligible People Can Claim Recovery Rebate Credit

The IRS announced that, as required by law, all legally permitted first and second round of Economic Impact Payments have been issued and the IRS now turns its full attention to the 2021 filing season.

Beginning in April 2020, the IRS and Treasury Department began delivering the first round of Economic Impact Payments within two weeks of the legislation. The IRS issued more than 160 million EIPs to taxpayers across the country totaling over $270 billion, while simultaneously managing an extended filing season. In addition, since Congress enacted the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the IRS has delivered more than 147 million EIPs in the second-round totaling over $142 billion.

Taxpayers Must Report Gig Economy Income on Their Tax Return

In 2020, many people joined the gig economy to help make ends meet during the pandemic. Whether it’s a side business or a primary source of income, all taxpayers need to understand how their gig work affects their taxes. The bottom line is taxpayers must report gig economy income on their tax return.

Here’s a quick overview of the gig economy:

Avoid Pandemic Paper Delays – Use e-File with Direct Deposit for Faster Refunds as IRS Prepares to Open 2020 Filing Season

The filing season opened on Feb. 12 with the Internal Revenue Service urging taxpayers to take some simple steps to help ensure they file accurate tax returns and speed their tax refunds to avoid a variety of pandemic-related issues.

Although every year the IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file their returns and use direct deposit to receive refunds, to those taxpayers who have previously not used e-file, the IRS emphasizes using it this year to avoid paper-related processing delays. Taxpayers can file electronically by using a tax professional, IRS Free File or other commercial tax preparation software. The IRS cautioned paper-filed tax returns and paper checks will take even longer this year due to a variety of reasons.

How to Avoid Filing an Incomplete or Amended Return

With some areas seeing mail delays, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to double-check to make sure they have all of their tax documents, including Forms W-2 and 1099, before filing a tax return.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that many of these forms may be available online. When other options aren’t available, taxpayers who haven’t received a W-2 or Form 1099 should contact the employer, payer or issuing agency directly to request the missing documents before filing their 2020 federal tax return. This also applies for those who received an incorrect W-2 or Form 1099.

The First Step of Tax Preparation is Gathering Records

As taxpayers get ready to file their 2020 tax return, they should start by gathering their records. Taxpayers should gather all year-end income documents to help ensure they file a complete and accurate 2020 tax return and avoid refund delays.

Taxpayers should have all necessary records handy, such as W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support any income,deductions or credits on their tax return.

Common and Costly Errors Taxpayers Should Avoid When Preparing a Tax Return

Electronically filing a tax return reduces errors because the tax software does the math, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. It can also help taxpayers claim valuable credits and deductions.

Using a reputable tax preparer – including certified public accountants, enrolled agents or other knowledgeable tax professionals – can also help avoid errors.

Tips to Help People Choose a Reputable Tax Preparer

Whether taxpayers regularly use a tax professional to help them file a tax return or they have decided to work with one for the first time, it is important to choose a tax return preparer wisely. Taxpayers are responsible for all the information on their income tax return. This is true regardless of who prepares the return.

Here are some tips to remember when selecting a preparer:

Here Are Reasons Taxpayers Should File a 2020 Federal Tax Return – And Why e-File is Best

Most people with gross income of $12,400 or more must file a federal tax return. Some people with a lower income are not required to file. However, these individuals should still consider filing for a refund of federal income tax withheld. They may also be eligible for certain tax credits, like the earned income tax credit, the recovery rebate credit and others.

Important Reminders Before Filing 2020 Tax Returns

Following an unpredictable year with many changes and challenges, the Internal Revenue Service shares important reminders for taxpayers who are about to file their 2020 federal tax returns.

Choose direct deposit

The safest, most accurate and fastest way to get a refund is to electronically file and choose direct deposit. Direct deposit means any tax refund is electronically deposited for free into a taxpayer’s financial account.

New Law Extends COVID Tax Credit for Employers Who Keep Workers on Payroll

The Internal Revenue Service urges employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses that, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted Dec. 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.

New IRS ‘Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online’ Offers Contact-free Signature Options for Tax Pros and Clients Sending Authorization Forms

The Internal Revenue Service rolled out a new online option that will help tax professionals remotely obtain signatures from individual and business clients prior to submitting the authorization forms electronically.

Tax professionals can find the new “Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online” on the IRS.gov/taxpro page. Tax professionals must have a Secure Access account, including a current username and password, or create an account in advance of submitting an online authorization form.

Get a Federal Tax Refund Faster With Direct Deposit

IRS YouTube Videos:

Direct Deposit for Your Tax Refund − English

The Internal Revenue Service  reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get their tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit.

Direct deposit is free, fast, simple, safe and secure. Taxpayers can even split their refund to have it deposited into one, two or three different accounts.

IRS Urges Taxpayers to Gather Tax Documents Now for Smooth Filing Later

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that organizing tax records is an important first step for getting ready to prepare and file their 2020 tax return.

Taxpayers should keep all necessary records, such as W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support an item of income, or a deduction or credit, appearing on their tax return.

Taxpayers Can Visit IRS.gov From the Safety of Their Home for Answers to Tax Questions

As people get ready to file their 2020 tax return, the IRS reminds taxpayers they can find answers to their tax questions from the safety of their home using IRS online tools and resources. These IRS.gov tools are easy to use and available 24 hours a day.

  • IRS Free File. Almost everyone can file their tax return electronically for free. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits and exemptions. It’s free for those who earned $72,000 or less in 2020. Some of the Free File packages also offer free state tax return preparation.

2021 Tax Filing Season Begins Feb. 12 – IRS Outlines Steps to Speed Refunds During Pandemic

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s tax season will start on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.

The Feb. 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the Dec. 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.

National Taxpayer Advocate Delivers Annual Report to Congress – Focuses on Taxpayer Impact of COVID-19 and IRS Funding Needs

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins released her 2020 Annual Report to Congress, focusing on the unprecedented challenges taxpayers faced in filing their tax returns and receiving refunds and stimulus payments during a year consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic this week. The report also finds that a roughly 20% inflation-adjusted reduction in the IRS’s budget since fiscal year (FY) 2010 has left the agency with antiquated technology and inadequate staffing levels to meet taxpayers’ needs.

All Taxpayers Now Eligible for Identity Protection PINs

The Internal Revenue Service expanded the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to all taxpayers who can verify their identities.

The Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and to the IRS. It helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayers’ personally identifiable information.

IRS Ready for the Upcoming Tax Season – Last-minute Changes to Tax Laws Included in IRS Forms and Instructions

The Internal Revenue Service assures taxpayers and tax professionals that updates to key federal tax forms and instructions are complete and will be available when Americans begin filing their tax returns.

Most individual taxpayers file IRS Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR once they receive Forms W-2 and other earnings information from their employers and payers. IRS has incorporated recent changes to the tax laws into the forms and instructions, and shared the updates with its partners who develop the software used by individuals and tax professionals to prepare and file their returns. Forms 1040 and 1040-SR and the associated instructions are available now on IRS.gov and are being printed for taxpayers who need a hard copy.

IRS Releases 2020 Progress Update – Annual Report Details Unprecedented Year

The Internal Revenue Service released its 2020 annual report describing the agency’s work delivering taxpayer service and compliance efforts during COVID-19 while spotlighting actions taken by IRS employees to help people during the challenging year.

 “Internal Revenue Service Progress Update / Fiscal Year 2020 – Putting Taxpayers First” outlines how the agency overcame difficulties during the pandemic to deliver Economic Impact Payments in record time. At the same time, IRS employees made adjustments to complete a successful filing season despite office closures and the latest tax deadline ever.

Treasury Issues Millions of Second Economic Impact Payments by Debit Card

Starting this week, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are sending approximately 8 million second Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card.

These EIP Cards follow the millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks that are delivering the second round of Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible.

Treasury and IRS Begin Delivering Second Round of Economic Impact Payments to Millions of Americans

Today, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.

The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as tonight for some and will continue into next week. Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Year-end Reminder – Expanded Tax Benefits Help Individuals and Businesses Give to Charity During 2020

The Internal Revenue Service explains how expanded tax benefits can help both individuals and businesses give to charity before the end of this year.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted last spring, includes four temporary tax changes that are designed to help people and businesses who give to charity this year. Here is a rundown of these key changes.

Get Ready for Taxes – Stay Home and Stay Safe with IRS Online Tools

The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to take necessary actions now to help file federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021.

This is the fourth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take to make tax filing easier in 2021.

How people can give back by becoming an IRS-certified volunteer (Tax Tip 2020-174)

The IRS and its community partners are looking for people around the country to become IRS-certified volunteers for the upcoming tax season.

These long-standing programs offer valuable help to America’s taxpayers:

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offers free tax return preparation to eligible taxpayers who generally earn $57,000 or less, people with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers.
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly is mainly for people age 60 or older. Although the program focuses on tax issues unique to seniors, most taxpayers can usually get free assistance. AARP participates in the TCE program through AARP Tax-Aide.