IRS pushes the start of tax season back by 2 weeks, to February 12

  • The IRS announced today that the start of tax season has been pushed back two weeks, to February 12.
  • Tax season typically opens at the end of January.
  • So far, the deadline to file your taxes has not changed: It's still April 15.
  • The IRS expects tax filers who select direct deposit to receive their refunds within 21 days (barring any issues with your tax return).
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You have two extra weeks to get organized before filing your taxes this year.

The IRS announced on January 15 that tax season would start on Friday, February 12, 2021. Tax season typically starts at the end of January.

In a statement, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) said he was "disappointed" that filing season would start later than usual, but wasn't surprised given the pressures the IRS has faced this year, including sending out two stimulus payments, handling a much longer tax-filing season in 2020, and facility closures due to COVID-19.

How a February 12 tax season affects your taxes

If you were hoping to file your taxes right away and get a refund, you'll have to wait a while longer. 

To speed up refund payments, the IRS is asking taxpayers to file as soon as they have all their necessary tax documents and choose direct deposit to receive their refund. The IRS expects that nine out of 10 taxpayers who file electronically with direct deposit will receive their refund within 21 days (barring any issues with their tax return).

As of now, the deadline to file your taxes remains the same: April 15. 

You should expect to receive your W-2s, 1099s, and other tax forms by February 1; that deadline has not changed.

The IRS Free File program is available starting today, January 15, though filed returns will not be sent to the IRS until February 12.

We don't yet know how this affects state taxes — we'll update this post when we get more information.

This is a developing story.

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