The IRS announced on Friday that it will delay the opening of the 2020 tax filing season until Feb. 12, 2021. This will be the first day that taxpayers will be able to file their 2020 returns.

Filing season usually begins in January, but this year the IRS needs more time to ready for tax season. Overwhelmed with distributing stimulus payments, office closures and other backlogs, the agency is using this extra time to catch up, and to put systems and staff in place to handle the new “recovery rebate credit.”

The recovery rebate credit is a new option on the federal income tax return. This option is for people who didn’t receive the full amount of stimulus money they were entitled to during either the first or second rounds of stimulus payments. If your stimulus check was short, or you didn’t receive one, use this option to get caught up.

Tax returns are still due no later than April 15, 2021.

In order to receive your 2020 refund and any remaining stimulus money as soon as possible, the IRS recommends all taxpayers file electronically and select the option to receive refunds via direct deposit.

The time between filing and receiving your refund is about 21 days, if your tax return has no problems.

Filing a paper return can cause significant delays, because the IRS has accumulated a large backlog of paper mail due to the pandemic. According to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, as of November 24, there were 7.1 million unprocessed individual tax returns and 2.3 million unprocessed business returns, so it’s best to file electronically.

If you need assistance filing your 2020 tax return, contact BNC Tax through our Appointment Scheduler.

If you’d like to know how much we charge to prepare and file your tax return, use our Price Estimate calculator to get a quote.