NEW YORK, NY (CBS Newspath) Americans could start filing taxes Monday, but some people may be waiting for their refund. Around 30 million taxpayers had their refunds delayed last year because of pandemic-related issues, and the IRS is still playing catch up. The Treasury Department is warning of more delays again this year.
“If your information doesn’t match on the IRS systems, those certainly create problems,” says Mark Steber, chief tax information officer with Jackson Hewitt. He says the expanded child credit is a protentional pitfall. Most parents only got half the money they were owed. The IRS is now sending out letters to help people properly file for the rest.
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“And that can be a little complicated, you have to fill out the form on how many dependents you have, you may have new dependents, shared custody can create a complication,” Steber says.
Steber says unemployment benefits are taxable. He says stimulus checks are not, but still need to be reported on 2021 tax returns. “So, make sure you understand what is taxable and what is not taxable,” he says.
Last year, Claudia Longo filed her tax return in February. When she didn’t receive her refund in a couple of months, she called the IRS. “You would be on hold for a long time and then maybe that call gets dropped or they send it to a different place and then you have to wait again,” Longo says.
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After calling multiple times and even reaching out to her senator, Longo finally got her tax refund five months later in August. “I was hoping to get that money to start my daughter on orthodontist treatment, and we had to delay it,” she says.
The fastest way to get a refund is to file electronically and set up direct deposit. The IRS says most people who do that get a refund within 21 days. The tax filing deadline is April 18th.
(Note: It’s the 19th in Maine and Massachusetts because of the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states.)