The 2022 tax season has begun — tips to help you file an accurate return

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The 2022 tax season has begun — tips to help you file an accurate return
Doing taxes

It’s important to all of us at the IRS that each taxpayer’s experience meets their needs and preferences. We want to make sure everyone understands the importance of filing electronically and choosing direct deposit, and we want people to know what they need to claim credits and deductions they may be eligible for when they file their returns. Our goal is to provide information for the 2022 tax filing season to help people accurately complete their tax returns, answer questions about tax software, or provide information to a tax professional at the time of filing.

The IRS is committed to processing the remaining 2020 individual tax returns as soon as we can. IRS employees have been working around the clock and we are progress during this unprecedented period. We also continue to answer correspondence and help taxpayers by phone or in-person as much as possible. We are also continuing to do additional work, such as adjustments related to 2020 unemployment compensation that will help prevent people from having to file an amended tax return.

At the start of this tax season, the IRS has a large inventory of tax returns waiting to be processed due to various factors, including the pandemic. For example, the IRS is correcting significantly more errors on 2020 tax returns than in previous years. More than 10 million electronically filed returns contained errors that required a manual review of the information on the return. However, accurate returns filed electronically were mostly processed automatically, with refunds sent within 21 days for those using direct deposit. We’re using what we learned last year to lay the groundwork for this year so we can help people avoid errors in the processing of the nearly 168 million 2020 tax returns we received, as of December 4, 2021, we had 6.7 million unprocessed individual returns and 2.6 million unprocessed Form 1040-Xs. We are processing these returns in the order received and working hard to review inventory.

We recognize how anxious people are if their tax return hasn’t finished processing. For those who have received a letter from us, please respond immediately. We appreciate people’s patience as we see light at the end of a long tunnel, as the IRS has faced a historically difficult time with very few resources and the challenge of a global pandemic. But we remain committed to doing all we can to help the American people.

Steps to make filing taxes easier in 2022

Tax planning is important for everyone, including people who don’t normally file a tax return. The IRS and our tax partners have been sending communications and conducting outreach encouraging people to think ahead about the information they’ll need to file complete and accurate tax returns.

Each fall, the IRS launches a “Get Ready for Taxes” campaign that encourages taxpayers to prepare to file, including steps to take before filing season begins, what to know before filing, and how to get help. There are also posts about gathering tax files, understanding tax year-related changes, and finding online resources and tools that can help answer your questions.

Some key tips for filing a complete and accurate 2021 tax return include:

  • Gather all the necessary records, such as W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks, and other documents that support an item of income, or a deduction or credit, that appears on a tax return.
  • Develop a system that keeps all important information together, including a software program for electronic filing or a filing cabinet for paper documents in labeled folders. Having all the records at hand makes it easier to prepare a tax return
  • Gather all year-end income documents, such as Form 1099- MISC, Miscellaneous Income; Form 1099- INT, Interest Income; Form 1099- NEC, Nonemployee Compensation; Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, Such as Unemployment Compensation or State Tax Refund; and Form 1095-A, Statements from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Taxpayers should wait to have all of their 2021 tax information before filing to avoid a processing delay that could delay a tax refund.

In addition to organizing tax files, steps taxpayers can take to prepare to file a 2021 tax return.

News and what to consider when filing your return in 2022

Most people typically only interact with the IRS when they file their tax returns, and some people haven’t had to file in the past but must now due to new stimulus payments and tax credits. This year it is extremely important to be well informed and prepared, and we are here to help.

Filing a 2021 tax return, even if you’re not required to, could put money in your pocket. While people with incomes below a certain amount are generally not required to file a tax return, those who qualify for certain tax credits or who have already paid any federal taxes by withholding taxes from a paycheck may qualify for a tax refund available only when filing a tax return.

Electronic filing and direct deposit are the best way to get your refund faster. Electronic filing with and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year to avoid refund delays. If you need a tax refund fast, don’t file your return on paper — use software, a trusted tax professional, or Free File on IRS.gov. For people who don’t have tax filing issues, the IRS anticipates that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days after e-filing if they choose direct deposit.

Reconcile advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. If you received advance payments, you must file a 2021 tax return. You will need to compare the Child Tax Credit advance payments you received to the amount of Child Tax Credit you can correctly claim on your 2021 tax return. This includes people who successfully used the Non-Filer tool in 2021. In January 2022, the IRS will send you Letter 6419 with the full amount of advance payments of the Child Tax Credit you received in 2021. To avoid a delay in processing, you will need the full amount and should be on the lookout for your IRS Letter 6419before filing the declaration. If you don’t have a letter or have questions about the amount you received, you can view the full amount of your Child Tax Credit.

Claim a Refund Recovery Credit (stimulus payment). Individuals who did not qualify for the third Economic Impact Payment or did not receive the full amount may be eligible for the Refund Recovery Credit based on their 2021 tax status. Those eligible will need to file a 2021 tax return, even if they normally would. do not file, to claim the Refund Recovery Credit and will need the full amount of your third Economic Impact Payment, including any additional or “plus-up” payments, to accurately file your return and avoid a processing delay that may delay your refund. In early 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6475 to provide the full amount of the third Economic Impact Payment that individuals received. Individuals can also obtain this information by logging into their online account from theIRS with your existing ID.me account or your IRS Online Account username to securely access your Economic Impact Payment amounts. 

The IRS saw many millions more errors on 2020 tax returns than in previous years, including those that required special handling by an IRS employee to correct the amount of the Refund Recovery Credit. That’s why we’re emphasizing how important it is to have the full amount of your third tax year 2021 Economic Impact Payment and advance Child Tax Credit payments, in addition to your normal income documents.

What to do if your 2020 tax return is still being processed. People whose 2020 tax returns have not yet been processed can still file their 2021 tax returns. For anyone in this group who files electronically, here’s a critical point: Taxpayers need their Adjusted Gross Income AGI. , from your most recent tax return when you file electronically. For those waiting for their 2020 tax return to be processed, be sure to enter $0 (zero dollars) for last year’s AGI on the 2021 tax return.