IRS says start of tax filing season delayed until Feb. 12
Tax filing season, which normally starts at the end of January, will begin on Feb. 12 this year, the IRS announced Friday.
The agency said the delay was necessary to allow it time to incorporate changes from the year-end COVID-19 relief and government funding bill, which President Trump signed into law on Dec. 27.
“This programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly,” the agency said in a statement. “If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers.”
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig urged people to file online using direct deposit in order to quickly access their tax refunds, which last year averaged over $2,500.
“Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation’s most important filing seasons ever,” he said. “This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible.”
Many refunds could go out as soon as the first week of March for early filers.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said he was disappointed with the belated start, but recognized the pressures the pandemic had put on the IRS.
“It’s a relief to know that despite contending with the distribution of two rounds of economic impact payments, facility closures, and other disruptions, the agency will be able to begin accepting returns within the next month,” he said. “I urge taxpayers to complete their returns and file electronically as early as possible.”