Submitted by Lynn Nichols, CPA

The tax return filing season is set to begin in two weeks, but Treasury and the IRS are under no illusions that it’s going to go smoothly.
The individual income tax return filing season will begin January 24 and end April 18, with no plans to extend the return filing closing date at this time, Treasury officials said on a January 10 call with reporters. Going into it, the administration is anticipating challenges.

A preexisting backlog of tax returns, with millions more in unprocessed returns than in years past, combined with staffing and logistical challenges, is expected to make for an especially frustrating filing season this year for both taxpayers and tax professionals, the officials said. That means that the IRS simply doesn’t have enough resources to provide adequate service or enforcement, they said.

To ease the process for both taxpayers and the IRS, the officials advised taxpayers to avoid paper if possible, recommending that they file tax returns electronically and use direct deposit or pay taxes owed electronically. They also urged taxpayers to take extra care to ensure filed tax returns are accurate, and to pay extra attention if they received an advance child tax credit payment or stimulus payment.

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