Medcom Blog

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Tackling Your 2021 Taxes

2021 tax filing season has begun! As of January 24, you could start filing your taxes, and you have through April 18 to complete them. It's certainly not everyone's favorite time of year, but it's definitely a good season to be prepared and informed.

What to Think About When Filing

The pandemic has continued to be a challenge for all of us, including the IRS. Last year, 30 million taxpayers had their refunds and returns delayed by the IRS. Take these items into consideration when filing this year:

  • woman smiling and looking at laptop with receipts in handFiling electronically and opting for direct deposit prevents processing delays and helps you receive your refund faster - typically expected to arrive within 21 days of filing
  • Organization while filing is key in avoiding an audit and owing money to the IRS
  • Don't guess amounts - make sure all your numbers match up
  • IRS offers an Identity Protection Plan to help keep you safe from identity theft
  • Tax software may be the best way to go
    • Save time and money and avoid mistakes
    • H&R Block, TurboTax
  • You can get an extension if you file for an automatic 6-month extension, but this only extends the deadline to file your return, not the payment deadline
  • Expect delays - the IRS still has millions of individual returns to process from last year
  • File as early as you can, some people have already received their W-2s, but they should be sent out no later than January 31 by your organization
  • Avoid making calls to the IRS; instead, use the IRS website or a trusted accountant for any questions
    • In 2021, the IRS was only able to answer 1 out of 9 calls due to delays brought about by the pandemic and staffing issues!

Like many others, if you are impatiently awaiting your refund, you can track it on the IRS website or the IRS2Go app.

What's ChangedApril 18 marked in red on calendar with red pushpin

  • The deadline for individuals to file is April 18, which is three days later than the usual April 15
    • This is also the deadline to make 2021 IRA contributions
  • Some extensions were granted to certain states affected by natural disasters last year (Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado, and several others)
  • If you made $73,000 or less in 2021, you are eligible to file for free using the IRS Free File Program
  • Take into account the Economic Impact Payments, Advance Child Tax Credit payments, and Earned Income Tax Credit changes that happened in 2021
    • Have your stimulus and Child Tax Credit letters handy- they contain essential information on how much you received through the program, which you'll need when filing

Donald Williamson, an accounting and taxation professor at American University in Washington, advises everyone to "file early, get started tomorrow and try to put your taxes together with a qualified professional."

Happy filing!