The deadline to file taxes for this 2021 year has been extended, but many are not aware of this extension to the usual April 15th deadline. There are also new provisions related to taxes that are important to explore. Two speakers directly from the IRS explain.
Ken Corbin, commissioner in the wage and investment division in the IRS explains: “Let’s start off with filing season. We started accepting 2020 individual tax returns on February 12th 2021. We’ve already received 85 million individual returns and of those, we have processed 76 million of them. So far, we have issued over 56 million refunds, totaling almost 164 billion dollars. By the time we are done, we expect to process more than 160 million individual tax returns. We know taxpayers rely on us for information on how to meet their tax obligations. Our focus is help taxpayers in a way that ensures the safety of our employees and communities we serve, which is why we extended the due date to May 17th, 2021 to file and pay their 2020 taxes. However, this extended deadline does not apply to corporations. The April 15th deadline still applies to estimated tax payments for the first quarter of tax year 2021. The extended due date does apply to corporations. The due date for individuals to request an extension is also May 17th. This is an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. If you have not filed, the first step is to gather your documents and file a complete and accurate return. We also encourage you to e-file and choose direct deposit. It is the fastest way for your return to be processed. Switching gears, I want to talk about the economic impacts and the rebate recovery credit and an update on recent legislation. As the pandemic continues, we remain focused on helping the federal government’s effort to help those experiencing financial changes and challenges. Most people received the full amount of both economic impact payments and do not have to enter any information about their EIP. However, if for whatever reason they were eligible, but did not receive payment, they may claim it when they file their 2020 return.”
Sue Simon, director of customer assistance, relationships and education at the wage and investment division of the IRS adds: “I first want to start off by saying we have a team of people ensuring we can provide services to people in many different languages. Everything that we normally send in English, we are now prepared to send in twenty different languages. We want taxpayers in the US to understand what they are supposed to be doing. We have started translating our documents as well. I always recommend people visit our website at irs.gov. It is a very intuitive website, very simple and easy to navigate. Also, e-filing is critical. It is the best way to file, as there are so many fewer mistakes. We want to make sure everyone can e-file and we make it available, so we have a few ways people can e-file for free. If you go to our website, you will see many software providers that provide free returns for those making less than $72,000 a year. We have a wonderful program called VITA (volunteers in tax assistance), which is a group of about 400 people around the country that spend all year working and engaging with community partners in tax return prep in their community. These people are there in schools, libraries and even provide educational assistance, such as setting up a bank account. We do not recommend one specific paid tax preparer, but we do have some guidelines when selecting someone to prepare your taxes. A red flag would be someone offering to get you a a bigger refund. There is no such thing if the information is being entered in correctly. We also have IRS scams out there. We are never going to call or send an email if someone owes the IRS money. We will send a bill and then 30 days later we will send another bill. We will not call and say we made a mistake or try to verify information over the phone. We advise everyone to visit our website irs.gov as it is a great resource.”