How Early Can I File My Taxes in 2021?

After a tumultuous 2020, we’ve finally reached the finished line. Welcome to 2021! Here’s hoping for a much better year ahead. With that, we hope for a bit more normalcy in our lives and businesses, health and world news—just to name a few. On that note, we’re looking forward to some of the tax-related business ahead of us. 2020 brought strange new financial complications and circumstances to taxpayers that will continue to reverberate all the way to your tax return this year. And to give yourself some time to handle the complex new tax landscape, you may already be asking, “How early can I file my taxes in 2021?”

Indeed, some of the timelines for filing differ from previous years. Getting up-to-speed on tax deadlines, then starting on your taxes sooner rather than later, will help you in a number of ways. Between numerous stimulus packages, unemployment insurance, severance packages, and other economic relief packages, you might find yourself facing a whole new tax landscape.

In short, this isn’t the year you want to wait until the last minute. Waiting to file your taxes until the last minute can result in errors that lead to an audit. Or you may not file by the deadline at all, which leads to potential tax penalties, interest, and ultimately—tax debt.

We’ll let you know how early you can file your taxes in 2021, walk you through some important tax deadlines, and give you some other basic info you’ll need to consider for the 2021 tax filing season.

How early can I file my taxes in 2021?

Typically, the IRS tax filing season begins in January. But not in 2021. This year, the tax season will start a couple weeks later than usual.

In 2021, the IRS will begin accepting returns for the 2020 tax year on February 12.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get started on your tax return prior to mid-February. It just means the IRS will start their acceptance and processing of tax returns on that date.

Like any other year, we strongly recommend getting started on your tax return filing process sooner rather than later—a point we’ll elaborate on a bit more later on. But for now, just know that if you’ve already prepared your taxes, the IRS will get to work on them starting on February 12.

Is the tax deadline delayed in 2021?

The surge of the coronavirus last spring threw off the entire IRS schedule for the year. For example, the tax deadline moved back three months to July 15—and the extended tax deadline six months after that. The same has not transpired for 2021.

The deadline to file your federal taxes in 2021 will be April 15.

Of course, this may end up changing. But that’s a relatively low likelihood, as the IRS—and indeed—most of the rest of businesses have adjusted to the “new normal” of operation during a pandemic.

Other Considerations Before Filing Your Taxes

Obviously, there’s more you should keep in mind than just when tax season starts and ends. Let’s walk through a few additional reminders before you get started on your return:

  • Tax Forms: Even if you want to file as soon as possible, you still may need to wait on certain tax forms. If you haven’t received the ones you expect to by the end of January, try following up with your employer or bank. Some records may be available online, as well.
  • Filing an Extension: Of course, not everyone can file right at the beginning of tax season. You can always file for an extension, which will extend your deadline to file by 6 months. This will push your deadline from April 15 to October 15.
  • Paying vs. Filing: Just because you file for an extension, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook on any taxes you owe the IRS. You’ll still need to pay that total by the deadline, otherwise you’ll begin accruing tax penalties once you miss the deadline.

I’m Ready to File My Taxes in 2021

That’s great news! By starting the tax filing process sooner than later, you’ll unlock countless upsides and avoid the very worst consequences of filing late—or not at all.

We all know how good it feels to get taxes filed and out of the way. Now that you have the information you need, you can start organizing your tax forms and filling things out. And of course, if you have any questions about economic stimulus payments or how to report unemployment income, we’re happy to help. We’ll get things handled fast and accurately—so you can breathe easy.

Concerned about filing taxes in 2021? Or worried that the IRS will discover you owe them money? We can help. Just give us a toll-free call today at 1-888-978-6747—or send us a message through our free live chat.

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