Update: January 10, 2022: 7:47 a.m. ET
Will the 2022 tax season be normal? According to tax lawyer Ken Berry, it is unlikely that in the spring of 2022, everything will be as in 2019 or before. Covid-19 will always be a concern, several stimulus tax laws will still be difficult for some filers, and new tax laws could very well be created by then which would add more complexity.
[The estimated refund date chart is below if you just want to scroll down.]
But the income tax filing process will likely be closer to normal than 2020 or 2021, both of which had extended filing deadlines due to the closure of IRS offices, tax courts, and the IRS and tax firm staff being new to remote working.
In other words … be prepared to have your taxes filed (or an automatic extension) before Monday, April 18, 2022. (Why not April 15? Emancipation Day.) The good news is that the process for filing federal and state income tax returns should also be closer to normal. Depending on when a taxpayer files their return, they can often receive their tax refund payments (check or direct deposit) in just 2-3 weeks.
Traditionally (i.e. pre-Covid) the IRS begins accepting tax returns during the last week of January. However, if major new tax legislation is passed at the end of the year, it could delay the start of tax season by a week or two. Thus, the first filers who owe a refund can often see them as early as mid-February or the end of February. However, taxpayers receiving the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit typically have their refunds delayed by about a month while the IRS confirms eligibility for these credits.
Although the last two tax reporting seasons have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the IRS has extended both deadlines, the IRS is not expected to extend the tax filing deadline for 2022.
The graph below shows a valued timeline for when a taxpayer is likely to receive their refund, based on the information currently available to us, and using projections based on previous years and depending on when a person files their return. If your IRS income tax refund is delayed after your filing, ask your tax professional or simply use the “Where is my refund? “from the IRS website. Or download the IRS2Go application to check the status of your refund.
Most Americans who expect a tax refund receive it by direct deposit in as little as 2 weeks, although it may take longer during the peak of the reporting season, which begins in late March. So it’s a good idea to file your tax return electronically as soon as you have all of your tax documents (like your W2, 1099, mortgage and student loan interest, and other items).
Several factors can determine when a taxpayer can receive their tax return, including:
- How long they deposit
- If the taxpayer claims certain credits (including EITC and CTC)
- Whether the return is filed electronically or sent by mail
- Does the taxpayer already owe debts to the federal government?
- Covid stimulus payments sent earlier in the year Will not do affect your income tax refund. (However, some taxpayers who did not receive one may be determined to have one, in which case they may have added it to their 2022 refund as a credit. Ask your tax professional.)
Note: The IRS will delay processing for 2 to 3 weeks if a tax return has the Income Tax Credit (EITC) Where Child Tax Credit (CTC), because these credits are often misused. The extra time allows the IRS to verify that taxpayers are eligible for the credits.
So here is the table you were looking for. If the IRS changes the tax season this year, we’ll update this table. And remember: this is an estimate of when to expect your refund. This is not correct, because all taxpayers have different statements and situations.
|The IRS accepts electronic returns by:||Direct deposit sent (or paper check mailed 1 week later):|
The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 24, 2022.
|January 24, 2022 *||January 31 (February 11) **|
|January 31, 2022 *||February 11 (February 18) **|
|February 7||February 18 (February 25) **|
|February 14th||February 25 (March 4) **|
|the 21st of February||March 4 (March 11) **|
|February 28||March 11 (March 18)|
|March 7||March 18 (March 25)|
|March 14||March 25 (April 2)|
|March 21st||April 1 (April 9)|
|March 28||April 8 (April 15) ***|
* = The IRS may delay the start of the tax season by about a week.
** = Returns with EITC or CTC may have refunds delayed until March to verify credits.
*** = Deposit during high season may result in slightly longer lead times.
|The IRS accepts returns by:||Direct deposit sent (or paper check mailed one week later)|
|April 4, 2022||April 15 (April 22) ***|
|April 11||April 22 (April 29) ***|
|April 18||April 29 (May 6)|
|April 25||May 6 (May 13)|
|May 2nd||May 13 (May 20)|
|May 9||May 20 (May 27)|
|May 16||May 27 (June 4)|
|23 May||June 4 (June 11)|
IMPORTANT: If you are filing electronically (using an online tax program or preparer), the IRS will notify you of the actual date it “accepted” your return. This is often 1 to 3 days from when you actually press the “file” or “submit” button, and this is the date you should use for the graph above.
Taxpayers who submit a paper version of their tax return can expect a delay of at least 3-4 weeks at the start of the process, as the return must be manually entered into the IRS system before it can be processed.
Be careful – Hire a professional
Taxpayers who hire a professional, such as a CPA or EA, can ask that professional for the estimated date of their tax refund, and they can be more confident that their taxes were properly (and legally) filed.
There are also apps for Apple, Android, and other devices that track the status of refunds.
Typically, the IRS says refunds returns are processed and payments issued within 21 days. However, for paper filers this can take much longer. The IRS and tax professionals strongly encourage electronic filing.
What if you can’t file your income taxes by April 15?
Taxpayers who do not have all the documents necessary to declare their taxes can easily file an extension form, “Form 4868, Request for Automatic Extension of Time to File a United States Personal Income Tax Return.” “- This will give the taxpayer until October 15 to file their tax return. No reason or excuse is needed to receive this extension, and as the title suggests, it is automatically granted.
However, if a person owes taxes, it is still his obligation to pay those taxes before April 15th, even if they asked for an extension to file. A professional can help you. Those that need to be reimbursed usually only need to file the extension request by April 15. Any tax professional and most DIY tax programs can do this task.
Tax refund estimators: