Tax law changes, stimulus checks delay start of tax season until Feb. 12

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tax season is starting late this year and there are a number of changes to the tax laws, along with delayed stimulus payments, which are going to create significant changes.

The IRS won’t even begin accepting returns till Feb. 12 because it says it needs to do programming and testing of IRS systems following the Dec. 27 tax law changes.

That’s going to create a backlog.

“The IRS is definitely behind in processing mail and things like that,” said CPA Mike Varner. “Particularly for those expecting a refund, electronic filing is definitely worthwhile.”

In Raleigh, CBS 17 found a number of people will send in their returns online.

“My accountant files for me and she does it electronically,” said Kathy Messina.

“We always file electronically because it’s quicker and its proved to be safer,” said Madeline Budway.

This year, many people will end up having to obtain their stimulus money through their income tax return. The IRS has added a special worksheet to help you figure out how to claim your money.

“There is a calculation on their 2020 tax returns where, if they did not receive it in the mail or direct deposit, they can actually get that stimulus payment on their tax return if they qualify,” said Varner.

Parents of newborns will be able to get additional money due to changes mandated by Congress.

“If you had a child in 2020 the IRS didn’t know about that,” said CPA Brendan Noonan. “You were eligible to get a $600 payment for the child in January and another $500 payment earlier in the year. That’s $1100 that the IRS didn’t know you were eligible to get.”

During the pandemic, many people needed help from charities. If you gave money to a charity, the government will allow you to benefit from that.

“For the first time in many, many years there’s a charitable deduction available for folks that are still claiming the standard deduction,” said Varner. “It’s up to $300 for a tax return.”

Doing taxes by yourself can be confusing for some and this year, it’s more complicated so it may be best not to try and do your taxes alone..

Raleigh resident Stephanie Hauche said that’s why she and her husband will have an accountant do their return.

“I don’t think we would know what to do if we didn’t have one,” she said.

If you do file electronically, the IRS is estimating that 90 percent of taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days. However, If you mail it in, be prepared for it to take a lot longer.

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