(WXYZ) — The 2022 tax filing season is officially underway. The IRS will start accepting and processing 2021 tax returns on Monday — a big change from last year when the first filing date was on Feb. 12.
Many people we spoke with wait until near the deadline to file, something local tax professional Michael Foguth said people should not do.
"The IRS had been backed up for months because of the pandemic. Are they back on track now?" I asked.
"No, they're nowhere near back on track. What they're telling people to do is get them in early," Foguth responded.
You can start submitting your return on Jan. 24, but if you're concerned about refund delays, there are steps you should take.
"You want to e-file and be set up for direct deposit. That's going to be the fastest way for them," Foguth said.
So, what's new this year? The Child Tax Credit.
If you're parent and accepted any advanced payments, you'll have to account for that.
"I think a lot of people didn't understand. They thought maybe it was additional child tax credits, but it wasn't," Foguth said. "It was pre-paying those child tax credits. So, when you're going to do those on your returns, make sure that you're putting in what you've already received."
The IRS has already started sending out Letter 6419 which will include the total amount of the Advance Child Tax Credit payments you received last year.
Eligible families who did not receive any payments in advance can claim the full amount of the credit on their tax return.
Did you get a third stimulus check between last March and December? If you were eligible for an "Economic Impact Payment" but are missing it, you maybe be able to claim a recovery rebate credit for 2020 or 2021. If you did receive a stimulus payment, look for the IRS Letter 6475 in late Janaury.
Keep any documents from the IRS. They're meant to help you, or a tax professional, better prepare your return.
If you're wondering if there's a pandemic extension for filing, there is not. Those days are behind us.
So, mark your calendar for the filing deadline on Monday, April 18. That's three days later than usual because of the weekend and the holiday.