The Internal Revenue Service has delayed the start of the tax filing season to Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. The agency normally begins tax season in late January, however this year the IRS says it needs more time after Congress passed a second COVID relief package in late December 2020.
The IRS is still urging Americans to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need. People can begin filing their tax returns immediately with tax software companies, including IRS Free File partners. These groups have started to accept tax returns, and the returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting February 12.
The IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refunds within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically to avoid delays in processing, avoiding filing paper returns wherever possible.
More than 150 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, with the vast majority before the Thursday, April 15, deadline. For additional information about steps to speed up your tax refund during the pandemic, click here.