Tax Schedule 2022: Every Date You Need To Know

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The first month of the year is already in the rearview mirror, which means tax season is here — ready or not. The IRS has started processing returns of the earliest early birds who filed in January, but for most of the country, things are just getting into gear. However, the gears are expected to chug along at a painfully slow pace this year, so anyone who waits until April to file their taxes may wish they had joined the early birds when they had the chance.

See: Why You Should Line Up a Tax Preparer Now — and What Paperwork You’ll Need
Find: Tax Prep 2022: AARP Offers Free Assistance — What Documents Will You Need To Provide?

It’s been widely published that the IRS — long underfunded and understaffed — is buckling under the pressure of last year’s backlogs and this year’s tax season at the same time. Virtually everyone in the industry is cautioning taxpayers to brace for long waits for refunds, frustrating inefficiencies, and an IRS simply not equipped to provide customer service to the multitudes.

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With all that in mind, it’s more important than ever this year to avoid errors and meet all IRS deadlines, which starts by knowing these key dates on the tax season calendar

Important Dates and Deadlines for Tax Season 2022

The following is a schedule of the most important days and events of this year’s tax season, but you’ll want to pay special attention starting in April! You need to know about these deadlines whether you work for an employer, work for yourself, or both.

Learn: 10 Best Ways To Use Your Tax Refund if It’s Not Very Big

  • January 14: The IRS Free File opened to the public on this date, when taxpayers began filing their returns through the third-party partners of the IRS Free File program. Tax returns would only start being transmitted to the IRS 10 days later on Jan. 24. Many independent tax software services also began accepting tax filings before the IRS was ready for them.
  • January 18: This is the deadline for estimated tax payments for the fourth quarter of 2021. If you work for an employer who withholds taxes from your paycheck, you don’t have to pay estimated quarterly taxes, but many self-employed people do.
  • January 24: This is the official start of the 2022 tax season and the date that the IRS began accepting and processing returns from tax year 2021.
  • January 28: This date has been designated Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, which the IRS’s website says is “to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people — including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.”
  • April 18: TAX DAY IS HERE — and for the third year straight, it will arrive after its regularly scheduled date of April 15. The previous two delays in 2020 and 2021 were pandemic-related. This year, the IRS pushed back the deadline for filing your 2021 tax returns and for paying taxes owed because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C. It’s also the last day to request an extension. You must e-file or postmark your returns, or file the Individual Tax Return Extension Form for Tax Year 2021 by midnight.
  • April 18: This date is also important because it’s the last day to make contributions to retirement accounts like traditional IRAs, both deductible and not, and Roth IRAs. This is regardless of whether or not the IRS grants you a filing extension. You can continue to fund eligible SEPs and Keoghs through Oct. 17 if you receive an extension. Finally, April 18 is the deadline for filing estimated quarterly taxes for the first quarter of 2022.
  • April 19: If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you must file your 2021 tax return or request an extension — and pay what you owe either way — the day after the rest of the country. Select New Englanders have Patriots’ Day to thank for the one-day reprieve.
  • June 15: Contractors, gig workers, and others whose self-employment requires them to pay estimated quarterly taxes must have their second-quarter checks in the mail by this date.
  • Sept. 15: Self-employed workers must have their third-quarter 2022 estimated tax payment postmarked by this date to avoid IRS penalties.
  • October 17: If you were granted a filing extension back on April 18, your time has run out. The due date to file your 2021 tax returns — and this time there’s no more wiggle room — is Oct. 17.
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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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