Susan Tompor: Tax returns won't come as quickly this year. Here's why

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

Anyone who is looking to pay bills and get a tax refund in early February is out of luck. Expect some significant delays.

The Internal Revenue Service announced Friday that it is going to only begin processing 2020 income tax returns as of Feb. 12. The official kickoff for tax season will be about twor or three weeks later than the usual kickoff for the tax season, which often begins in late January.

The tax season was likely to be delayed, given the latest stimulus rollout and tax rule changes that took place in late December.

Such a delay will impact those who depend on the Earned Income Tax Credit, too.

The IRS noted online earlier this year that the EITC refund can be expected "as soon as the first week of March if you file your return online, you choose to get your refund by direct deposit and we found no issues with your return."

Typically, many of those tax filers had received money in late February.


The IRS confirmed that it will process the 2020 tax returns beginning on Feb. 12. People can still prepare and file returns electronically but the IRS isn't going to move the returns through the system until much later than usual.

And that means you won't get your tax refund as quickly as last year.

The IRS blamed additional programming and testing of the IRS tax systems "following the Dec. 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits."

Several important tax changes were made late in the year, including how the Earned Income Tax Credit could be calculated. The economic relief package, passed by Congress in late December, also provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments — which the IRS has been rolling out in January.


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