2021 tax season: experts say file early and electronically to avoid delays

ORLANDO, Fla. — With the official start of tax season many people may find this year to be a bit more difficult to navigate.

That’s why Heart of Florida United Way is offering free tax help to people who need assistance with preparing their tax returns.

Through IRS-certified volunteers, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides support with free basic income tax return preparation for electronic filing and is available to those who make $66,000 or less.

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Heath Wells of Heart of Florida United Way says this year it’s best to file electronically and early.

“The IRS is really delayed. It’s hard to get your return in a quick manner if you file paper returns,” Wells said.

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Unlike previous years, this year there are a lot of nuances to filing your taxes and many are coronavirus related, like child tax credits.

Wells said those monthly child tax credit payments will determine how much of a refund you get or if you end up owing the IRS.

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“A lot of people started getting checks in July. That will impact what they receive,” Wells said.

The IRS officially starts accepting 2021 tax returns Jan. 24.

More information on United Way’s VITA program and if you qualify can be found here.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.