IRS Delays Tax Season Start Date

Senior woman on a laptop
Photo by Deflector Image / Shutterstock.com

Taxpayers hoping to get their return to the IRS quickly this year will have to wait longer than usual.

The federal agency announced today that it will not begin accepting and processing income tax returns until Feb. 12. That is about two weeks later than in recent years past. For example, last year, the tax season began on Jan. 27.

Why the delay? The IRS says waiting until Feb. 12 will give the agency time to perform extra programming and testing of IRS systems in the wake of federal tax law changes that President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec. 27. These changes include the second round of stimulus payments.

The IRS says that without the delay, tax refunds might fall behind schedule.

The agency also notes that even though the start of tax season will be later than usual, you can still begin working on your return now:

“People can begin filing their tax returns immediately with tax software companies, including IRS Free File partners. These groups are starting to accept tax returns now, and the returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting Feb. 12.”

It is estimated that more than 150 million federal income tax returns will be filed this year. Last year, the average tax refund was more than $2,500.

The deadline for filing your federal tax return is April 15. The IRS expects 90% of taxpayers to get their refunds within 21 days of filing if they file electronically and use direct deposit, assuming there are no issues with their returns.

Before diving into your return, make sure you understand how tax law has changed over the last year. For more, check out “10 Ways Your Income Taxes Will Be Different in 2021.”

Millions of Americans use tax software when filing their taxes. Examples of such software include:

However, if you plan to use tax software, make sure you take one crucial step to protect your personal information. For more, check out “Be Sure to Do This With Your Tax Software.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Most Popular
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages

With bipartisan support, this bill could help millions of workers and retirees boost or conserve their retirement savings.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.