The IRS just announced that the 2022 tax filing start date (to file 2021 income tax return) will be Monday, January 24, 2022. This is in line with the tax start date being the 4th Monday in January, but last year, the tax start date was delayed a few weeks into February, with the complexities created by COVID.
What is the 2022 Tax Season Start Date?
The IRS tax season start is, by definition, the tax filing start date. It is the first day in a given tax season when the IRS begins to accept and process tax returns for the prior year. No returns will be processed sooner, and the IRS says to allow 3+ weeks for refunds to be processed.
Has the 2022 Tax Deadline Been Delayed or Extended?
Even with this delay, as of right now, the tax deadline for 2022 has not been delayed or extended. As of right now, the tax deadline remains Monday, April 18, 2022. You might remember that there was an extended tax filing deadline 2 years ago, due to COVID-19, that allowed taxpayers to file their tax return by July 15, without needing to file an extension with the IRS (which gets you an extra 6 months to file). I do not anticipate that we’ll see a similar tax filing extension deadline in 2022, but it’s certainly possible, particularly as COVID continues to rapidly spread.
Can you Submit a Tax Return Prior to the Tax Start Date?
You can technically complete your tax return prior to the tax season start date, however, your return will be held for processing (either by the IRS if you file directly or for e-file submission by the tax software company you file with) until the tax start date. In other words, your return cannot be processed prior to the official start date of tax season.
I would not recommend filing your return prior to the tax start date, as there could be a number of late changes to tax forms and tax software that could impact your return. Also, there is no benefit to filing sooner.
A Note for Those Claiming the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit
Those who claim either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) may see a refund delay due to rule changes from the PATH Act. Under the PATH Act, the IRS is not able to issue a refund involving the EITC or ACTC before mid-February. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds and claims from being issued, including to identity thieves. The IRS anticipates a first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.
Where can you Start Filing Taxes?
You can start filing your return with tax software companies or directly with the IRS at any time, including right now. I will soon be revising my lists of the best tax prep software and best & cheapest ways to e-file. A few of my favorites over the years (with notable exclusive discounts from affiliate partnerships) include: