Tax Filing Season Starts Now: Here’s What You Need To Know

tax form with callculator and glasses.
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Last year, the pandemic forced the IRS to take the extraordinary step of extending Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. The unprecedented move already had the agency pinched for time. Then, Congress called a last-minute audible when it enacted new COVID-19 relief right at the end of the year in late December. This forced yet another postponement. 

Instead of starting in late January as usual, the IRS announced it wouldn’t begin accepting and processing returns for tax year 2020 until Feb. 12 — and now, Feb. 12 is here. That shortens tax season by several weeks and gives you even less time to get it right. Despite the delay in getting started, the IRS has been clear in stating that there will be no extension this year beyond April 15. 

You can prevent mistakes by brushing up on your knowledge, learning the facts and gathering some helpful tips before you get started. GOBankingRates created the following 2021 tax guides to help you do exactly that. Some are general and some are specific, but they’re all short, concise and filled with the most recent and up-to-date information. A small investment in the time it takes to read a few of them now could pay dividends down the line in the form of a faster refund, a larger refund or a lower tax bill.

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Get Up to Speed With a Deep Dive

2020 was one of the most unusual years on record. Between the deadline changes, stimulus packages, new unemployment payments and the rest, this will be a tax season like no other. Your best bet might be to invest a little more time by reading a comprehensive guide that offers an overview of the entire tax season.  

Or Start by Understanding the Bracket System

Thanks to inflation, tax brackets and their correlating income rates change every year even if tax laws stay the same. This guide will show you exactly how your tax rate is calculated based on your income and how to determine what you’ll owe.

If This Is All New to You…

If tax year 2020 is the first time you’re ever filing with the IRS, prepare for baptism by fire. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to get it right the first time. 

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Or Maybe Your Family Got Bigger

Few life circumstances change your tax situation more thoroughly than having or adopting a child. You now have many more available credits and other ways to save money, increase your refund and reduce your tax obligation. Don’t miss out. 

But Those Aren’t the Only Breaks

These guides introduce you to some different credits, deductions and other tax breaks, some for seniors specifically and some for the population at large.

The Tax Code Is in Constant Flux — Keep Up

The blizzard of laws and regulations that make up the U.S. tax code is complicated beyond imagination. It also exists in a state of constant evolution. These guides explain that changes most likely to affect you. 

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Last updated: Feb. 12, 2021

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.
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