IRS Will Start Accepting Tax Returns Feb. 12, Later Than Usual
By Richard Rubin
WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service won't start accepting
2020 individual income tax returns until Feb. 12, several weeks
later than usual, as the agency implements late tax
This tax season could be unusually challenging for the IRS and
for taxpayers. The IRS said Friday that it needed time to program
and test its computer systems after Congress passed a relief law in
"Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive
undertaking, and IRS teams have been working nonstop," said IRS
Commissioner Charles Rettig.
Millions of people who didn't get the full stimulus payments
from laws passed in March and December will be able to claim the
money through their 2020 tax returns. That group includes people
who had children during 2020 and those who didn't qualify for the
full payments based on 2019 income but saw income drop in 2020.
Others will be surprised to learn that unemployment insurance
benefits are taxable.
The Feb. 12 start date means that some tax refunds will hit bank
accounts later than usual. That could slow consumer spending in
February, though the $600 per-person stimulus payments that
households have been receiving this month could offset that
Under a law designed to limit fraud, the IRS was already
prohibited from paying many refunds until mid-February to
households receiving the earned-income tax credit and the
refundable portion of the child tax credit.
The IRS said people in those groups should get their payments by
early March if they file electronically and have no problems with
their returns. That is similar to when those households receiving
credits would have otherwise received them during a regular filing
season, according to the IRS.
"While I am disappointed that this year's filing season will
begin later than usual, I recognize that the IRS has faced
extraordinary challenges throughout the Covid crisis," said Rep.
Richard Neal (D., Mass), chairman of the House Ways and Means
The April 15 deadline for filing and paying income taxes, which
was extended to July 15 last year during the pandemic, remains
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 15, 2021 13:01 ET (18:01 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.