2022 Tax Season

How early can I file my taxes in 2022?

They say the early bird catches the worm, the IRS has brought forward the filing period for your 2021 return, despite problems processing last year's.

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How early can I file my taxes in 2022?
Stefani Reynolds AFP

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the tax season will begin on Monday January 24. However, there is plenty you can do before the official opening of the filing season to get your taxes in order, actions that will make the job far easier when the time to file them comes.

It could certainly be worth filing as soon as possible, due to problems the organization faced in the last 12 months trying to deal with 2020 tax returns. The opening date for 2022 is 19 days earlier than that of last year's tax window. This is despite the IRS having major trouble processing refunds from filed reports, due to factors like underfunding. As of publication, there remains more than 6 million unprocessed returns from last year, and not a lot of time before the organization is bombarded with millions more.

The IRS recommends you dig out all relevant information, such as documents pertaining to the Child Tax Credit or third stimulus checks, to ensure your application is correct. Wrong information could lead to a delay in receiving a tax refund, if you qualify.

Full timeline

Here is the full timeline for filing your tax return this year:

  • January 14: IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through IRS Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting January 24. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
  • January 18: Due date for tax year 2021 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.
  • January 24: Individual 2021 tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins
  • January 28: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
  • Late January: Letter 6475, about 'Your Third Economic Impact Payment', will be sent to individuals who received a third stimulus check in 2021.
  • April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed due to Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., even for those who live outside the area.
  • April 19: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed for those who live in MA or ME due to Patriots' Day holiday
  • October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns