As you file your 2021 taxes in 2022, I share the top things to keep in mind, especially if you got child tax credits or the third stimulus payment! I review the common tax prep e-filing options and which ones are free or have costs.
Video Contents or read more below:
Tax Return For 2021 Tax Year Top Tips Intro
Key 2022 Tax Filing Dates
Best Way To Get Your Tax Refund Fast
How Long It Takes To Get The Tax Refund
IRS Free File Tax Filing Options
How To Choose From Popular Tax Filing Options
Popular Tax Filing Provider Costs
Child Tax Credit Payments Tips
Earliest Date To Receive Tax Refunds
Third Stimulus Payment Tips
Free IRS Helpful Resources
If You Paid Interest On Student Loans
New $600 IRS Rule For Businesses
Tax Refund Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow
The fastest way to get your tax refund or know how much you still owe is to file online (e-file) and direct deposit to avoid delays. Avoid paper if you can! “The IRS anticipates most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days if there are no issues with your tax return,” per the IRS.
In the video, I review the types of tax filing forms and costs from some of the popular tax filing companies: TaxAct, H&R Block, and TurboTax. I usually go for whatever is the cheapest and still successfully addresses all my DIY tax filing needs. These tax prep fees tends to go up as tax season progresses, so don’t delay in doing your taxes.
I share tips with what you should do to get the second half of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments, or all of the credits if you have not received them yet and you were eligible. The IRS can only begin issuing tax refunds after mid-February 2022 if it involves the Child Tax Credits or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for certain low to moderate income earners.
For an accurate return, collect all documents like W-2s and 1099 Forms before preparing a tax return, and make sure stimulus payment (Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan) and advance Child Tax Credit info is correct otherwise you may need to take additional steps to get all of the payments you were eligible for.
Key 2022 Tax Filing Dates Include (From IRS Website):
January 14: IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through IRS Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting January 24. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
January 18: Due date for tax year 2021 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.
January 24: IRS begins 2022 tax season. Individual 2021 tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins.
January 28: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed due to Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., even for those who live outside the area.
April 19: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed for those who live in Massachusetts (MA) or Maine (ME) due to Patriots’ Day holiday.
October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns.
The IRS Free File actually already opened on January 14, which allows taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2021 to file their taxes electronically for free using software provided by commercial tax filing companies.
Starting in December 2021 and through January 2022, the IRS has been sending the Advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) letter 6419 to people who received advance CTC payments or should receive them. If you didn’t get the letter or want to check the amount of the payments you received, visit the IRS’s CTC Update Portal.
“Eligible taxpayers who received advance Child Tax Credit payments should file a 2021 tax return to receive the second half of the credit. Eligible taxpayers who did not receive advance Child Tax Credit payments can claim the full credit by filing a tax return.”
“Families with children 5 and younger are eligible for credits of as much as $3,600 per child, with up to $300 received monthly in advance; those with children ages 6 to 17 are eligible for up to $3,000, with up to $250 a month in advance. Families are eligible for the full amount if they earn less than $150,000 and are married filing a joint return. Single filers who earn less than $75,000 are also eligible for the full amount, as are head-of-household filers earning less than $112,500.”
Third Economic Impact Payment letter 6475: In late January 2022, the IRS will begin issuing letters to people who received a third payment in late January 2021. Most eligible already received, but if you didn’t get it you can file a 2021 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) for missing stimulus payments. Check the IRS website about your Recovery Rebate Credit options.
The IRS has a lot of helpful tips and free resources in “Top 5 things to remember when filing income tax returns in 2022.” Try to figure out as much as you can online before you have to suffer in lengthy phone call delays.
Also if you paid any student loan interest in 2021, you may be able to deduct up to a certain amount on qualified student loans so check the rules if this applies to you.
Finally, there’s a new IRS rule that affects businesses (such as likely small business owners) who are collecting commercial payments via third party payment systems like Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, and Cash App.
Effective January 1, 2022, these payment apps are required to report business transactions totaling $600 or more per year to the IRS. Businesses will receive a 1099-K form to report this 2022 income they received through the third party payment apps in their 2023 tax returns. So the rule changed from these payment apps having to report previously only gross income of $20,000+ or 200+ separate transactions within the calendar year.
So this IRS rule change does not apply to transactions between friends or family when they split meal bills, or utility bills, or send/receive gifts, or get reimbursed, as far as I understand. So friends and family can keep Venmoing on without fear of extra tax reporting AFAIK!
If you’re interested in learning how to take control of your finances and start becoming an investor like Warren Buffett, check out my free PDF guide.
I look forward to making more investor friends! Add me on Instagram: michellemarki