Stimulus payments: IRS delays start of tax season

For taxpayers who like to get an early start on filing their taxes, you have time to get your W2s and receipts in order.

The IRS announced Friday that it has delayed the start of the 2020 tax filing season.

The date is now set for Feb. 12 for the start of accepting and filing last year’s returns instead of the late-January traditional time frame, CNBC reported.

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The reason is because of the COVID-19 relief package that went into effect in December, Forbes reported.

“These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a recovery rebate credit when they file their return,” the IRS said, according to CNBC.

When it is time to file, a government watchdog group said you will not want to file a paper status this year. You will want to file online if you are able.

The reason, according to a report in The Washington Post, is because of a backlog in paper returns. It is expected to grow due to staffing issues before the coronavirus pandemic as well as the roadblocks that the pandemic brought with it. including working from home and abiding by social distancing guidelines.

Paper returns remained in trailers, unopened, for months, the Post reported.

While the filing season hasn’t yet started, the File Free Alliance, a program through the IRS that helps provide free tax preparation for people who make less than $72,000 in adjusted gross income, has opened, USA Today reported.

If you use the service, the tax return will be filed as soon as the window opens, USA Today reported.

No matter when you start preparing to file, the deadline, as of now, is still April 15, 2021, Forbes reported.