By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The tax filing season started this week, as the agency attempts a return to normal this year.
"This is just about on time," said Michael Devine with the IRS. "The last couple of years, it's been later when we started processing returns and that's been due to a number of problems, COVID, tax law changes, things that stop us from actually getting started. This is normal. It gives people time to file. Remember that your employers don't have to have your W-2s to you until the end of the month, so you've got plenty of time all the way into April. Just relax. Just because we've started processing doesn't mean you should rush."
In fact, because of a holiday in Washington D.C. that falls on April 15, you have until April 18 to file your federal return. Also, if you have children and received advance payments of the child tax credit, there's a letter you'll need for your taxes.
"It's a letter from the IRS, it's a 6419," Devine said. "It has the total amount of the advance child tax credit payments that you received during 2021. You're going to need that number to put on your tax return so you can get the other half of the credit. For example, if you have one child under six, the total credit is worth $3600. You could have gotten $1800 in monthly payments last year. Now you get to reconcile what you received with what you are eligible for."
In addition, a law designed to reduce fraud for those returns that get tax credits for kids is still in effect that will delay the processing of those returns.
"We're talking about the PATH Act," Devine said. "It was passed several years ago. It means that some refunds, anyone who is claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, your refund will be held until at least February 15. There was a lot of fraud involved with those two credits. The IRS talked to Congress and the law was changed. Now, you have to get your W2s and other information by January 31. That gives the IRS two weeks to actually let the computers crunch the numbers and make sure what's reported on a return for those credits is what we're supposed to be getting."
If you have any questions on tax information, the best place to find answers is online at irs.gov.