While people with income under a certain amount aren’t required to file a tax return because they won’t owe any tax, if you qualify for certain tax credits or already paid some federal income tax, the IRS might owe you a refund that you can only get by filing a return.
Get to know the IRS, its people and the issues that affect taxpayers
By David Alito
CL-21-16, May 14, 2021
As the Deputy Commissioner of Wage & Investment, it’s important to me that my organization ensures that everyone can claim the tax credits they’re eligible for, whether it’s a tax refund, a stimulus payment or federal withholding credits.
Before I talk about 2020 tax returns, I do want to mention that IRS employees are difficult at sour to process some of last year ’ mho returns that we weren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate able to get to because of the many agency closures during the pandemic. It ’ south important that you file your 2020 tax render even if your 2019 tax return hasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate been processed yet. We will still process your 2019 retort even if you ’ ve already gotten your 2020 tax refund.
Why you should consider filing a tax return even if you’re not required to file
Filing a tax rejoinder is credibly not something most people enjoy doing. So why would anyone want to file a tax return if they do n’t have to ? Well, actually, there are some important reasons – you might get a tax refund and you may be eligible for an extra stimulation payment. If you ’ re eligible for future payments or credits, it helps if IRS has your 2020 tax return and direct deposit information on file .
While people with income under a certain amount are n’t required to file a tax return because they wo n’t owe any tax, if you qualify for certain tax credits or already paid some federal income tax, the IRS might owe you a refund that you can only get by filing a return. Some tax credits are “ refundable ” think of that evening if you don ’ triiodothyronine owe income tax, the IRS will issue you a refund if you ’ ra eligible. many people miss out on a tax refund simply because they don ’ t file an IRS tax retort .
There are more reasons you may want to file, even if you don ’ t have to. If you had federal taxes withheld by your employer, you may be eligible for a refund of those taxes. This includes students and part-time workers who may not file because they have besides little income to require them to do sol. You may besides qualify for tax benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit. If you have children, we highly encourage you to file your 2020 tax return arsenic soon as possible to make certain you ’ re eligible for the appropriate amount of the Child Tax Credit, including the 2021 gain Child Tax Credit payments .
There is normally no penalty for failure to file if you are due a refund, but why miss out on money that ’ s rightfully yours ? If, however, you wait excessively long to file your return and claim a refund, you risk losing it altogether. That ’ s because an master reappearance claiming a refund must generally be filed within three years of its due date. If you haven ’ metric ton filed a tax reappearance for tax class 2017 and had any money withhold from your paychecks or are eligible for tax credits, you need to file by May 17, 2021. If you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate, the money is forfeited, by law, and becomes property of the U.S. Treasury .
File a 2020 tax return if you’re missing stimulus payments and think you’re eligible for more money
I know many people have questions about tax law changes related to the american Rescue Plan Act of 2021. I urge you to start with IRS.gov – Coronavirus Tax Relief – to find the most update data when it ’ sulfur available. If you ’ rhenium looking for general information, the best space to start is IRS.gov. It will save you time because our employees won ’ t be able to provide much more information if you call .
economic impingement Payments, besides known as stimulation payments, are different from most other tax benefits. That ’ sulfur because people can get them flush if they have little or no income, and even if they don ’ thyroxine normally file a tax recurrence. This is truthful american samoa long as you are not being claimed as a pendent by person else and you have a Social Security number. When it comes to missing stimulation payments, it ’ s critical that you file a 2020 tax return evening if you don ’ t normally file to provide data the IRS needs to send the payments for you, your eligible spouse and eligible dependents.
For anyone who missed out on the first two rounds of payments, it ’ s not besides late. If you did n’t get a first gear and second Economic Impact Payment or got less than the entire amounts, you can get that missing money if you ’ re eligible for it, but you need to act. All foremost and second Economic shock Payments have been sent out by IRS. If your 2019 tax rejoinder has not been processed so far, the IRS won ’ metric ton station you the first or second payment when it is.
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I ’ d like to clear up some confusion that we continue to hear about the Non-Filers : Enter Payment Info here tool. This instrument was developed to allow people to submit their data through the Free File system end class. The joyride was available only on IRS.gov through late November 2020. This option is no longer available .
Filing a 2020 tax tax return is the only way, if you ’ re eligible, to get your money from the first or second requital nowadays. You ’ ll title the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Most people who don ’ metric ton normally file can use IRS Free File to provide identical basic information about you and your family. There ’ randomness evening a particular section on IRS.gov that can help : Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren ’ metric ton required to file a tax return .
When you answer the questions in Free File, you may besides find that you ’ re eligible for early tax credits which may mean a bigger refund. The IRS will process your tax fall once you ’ ve submitted it and issue your refund. This means you can expect two payments because the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit is paid as character of your tax refund. After your refund is issued, if you ’ re eligible, you ’ ll get another payment curtly subsequently for the third Economic Impact Payment .
An original return claiming a refund must generally be filed within three years of its due date. If you haven’t filed a tax return for tax year 2017 and had any money withheld from your paychecks or are eligible for tax credits, you need to file by May 17, 2021. If you don’t, the money is forfeited, by law, and becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.
Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund and stimulus payments
If I could give you one significant slice of advice for filing your taxes, it would be to file electronically and choose direct situate for your refund. The best way to file a complete and accurate return is to file electronically. The tax software asks questions about your income, credits and deductions and will help figure your Recovery Rebate Credit. If you want your refund deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as potential, filing electronically and having your refund sent via lineal down payment is the fastest and safest way to receive your money.
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If you don ’ t have a bank score, visit the FDIC web site or the National Credit Union Association using their Credit Union Locator Tool for data on where to find a trust or citation union that can open an account on-line and how to choose the correct account for you. If you are a veteran, see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program ( VBBP ) for access to fiscal services at participating banks .
so, if you haven ’ triiodothyronine filed taxes recently because you thought you didn ’ t have to, I hope I ’ ve given you a closer look into why it might be a big theme to file in 2020. It ’ mho something that can be done electronically using a smartphone. Plus, with our helpful on-line resources and free filing aid for sealed taxpayers, it ’ second easier than ever to file electronically and see if you ’ re due a refund. If you ’ ve already filed, thank you. Tell your friends and syndicate sol they don ’ triiodothyronine lose the money they ’ re entitled to – visit the file information section of IRS.gov today !
Deputy Commissioner, IRS Wage & Investment division