4 reasons to file your taxes as soon as possible, now that tax season is hereFebruary 16, 2021
If you haven’t filed your, we’ve got four excellent reasons to do it now (or as soon as possible) instead of waiting until the last minute — the April 15 deadline. Here’s a hint: Your taxes do much more this year than determine your , if you get one. They’re also a huge factor in calculating and receiving your .
For example, if you’re one of the millions whoas part of the . Maybe your check never made it due to a . Some people had problems with or missing money for in general. Others had funds . Filing your taxes as soon as possible could ASAP, regardless of why it wasn’t delivered.
About 8 millionthis year to , but there are also benefits for the tens of millions of for a of up to — a than you think. By filing now, you could also set yourself up so you don’t . We’ll explain what you need to know. And here’s more information about and when it’s time to or set up a if your money doesn’t show up. This story was recently updated.
4 biggest reasons to file your taxes early in 2021
Benefit 1: The earlier you file your taxes, the(you can ). That’s one great reason to file early every year — other than vanquishing the stress of having your taxes hanging over your head.
Benefit 2: Since any missing stimulus check money is alsothis time around, filing early will mean you get any missing stimulus money faster, too. If you’re owed a tax refund and stimulus money, both will arrive as part of the same payment. For example, let’s say your tax refund was $500 and your stimulus check allotment was $500. You’d receive one $1,000 payment from the US Treasury.
(If you’re on the hook for taxes but you’re owed stimulus check money, the amount you have to fork over will be reduced. So, if you were to owe $1,000 in taxes and you’re missing $500 in stimulus check money, you’d owe $500 instead of $1,000.)
Benefit 3: The chance to, or fix any errors. People with direct deposit accounts on file with the IRS have typically than those getting money in the mail. We suspect the same will be true with the of (read about why the ).
Benefit 4: You’ll stand a better chance of getting your full payment with the new stimulus check in 2021. According to the latest proposal (PDF) — which is not law — the IRS would base your on your 2019 or 2020 taxes, whichever it has most recently on record. Any money you don’t get as part of the automatic payment .
So let’s say you made less money in 2020 than in 2019, or you had a new baby in the last year, if theon your 2019 life circumstances, you’d miss out on the rest of the check for a year or more, by the time it’s processed.
Here’s when your tax refund and missing stimulus check could arrive, based on when you file
Though you can still technically file your taxes by mail and request a paper check, the fastest way to get the money you’re owed is to file electronically and have funds. This year, the IRS won’t begin processing tax returns , making that the soonest you can submit your own (April 15 is the last day to file). The IRS says 90% of filers will receive their refunds in 21 days or sooner.
The IRS says itswithin 24 hours of filing, which could include a confirmation that your refund has been issued. From there, it could take anywhere from one to three days for the money to appear in your bank account.
When to expect your tax refund
|If you file on this date||This is the soonest||This is the latest|
|Feb. 12||Feb. 19||March 5|
|March 1||March 8||March 22|
|April 1||April 8||April 22|
|April 15 (last day to file)||April 22||May 6|
|Oct. 15 (last day with extension)||Oct. 22||Nov. 5|
Assuming seven days is the soonest you’d get your combined tax/stimulus refund and 21 days is the longest, we’ve sketched out what a difference filing sooner rather than later could make. (There’s more below on how to calculate how much money you might get in addition to your.)
How do you know if the IRS owes you stimulus money?
To figure out whether and how much money you’re owed from a previous round of stimulus checks, first you have to determine how much you were owed for each previous payment, then subtract from that any amount you already received.
Here’s how to calculate the payments you were owed:
Next, you’ll want to check your bank account where your payments were deposited to determine the amount you received. (If you received an balance and transaction history here.) within 15 days of issuing your stimulus check, however it was issued, and that letter should indicate how much money you received. (Here’s what to do .), you can check the
If you no longer have that letter, you canto help you figure out when you received the payment. It’ll also show you the last four digits of the bank account it was deposited in if it was deposited directly.
There’s also a form to help you figure out the amount you’re owed on page 59 of this PDF detailing instructions for 1040 and 1040-SR tax forms, but it’s a doozy to follow.
Why the IRS could owe you money, to begin with
There are all kinds of reasons why the IRS might still owe you stimulus check money, including:
To collect your missing stimulus check on your taxes, start here
The IRS requires you to fill out either form 1040 or 1040-SR if you’re going to claim a on your 2020 taxes. Once you have the amount you’re owed worked out, you’ll enter it on line 30 of either of those forms (see screenshot). Yes, it’s that simple.
You’ll get your missing stimulus check money one of these ways
If you’re due a refund from the IRS, it’ll include both your full refund amount and whatever you’re owed from the. In other words, it’ll be bigger. If, however, you owe the IRS money, your Recovery Rebate Credit will be applied to the debt. If the tax credit is more than you owe, you’ll receive the difference as a refund.
Here’s, i.e. you won’t be filing taxes for 2020, and you’re still owed a stimulus check. If you have child dependents, could help put more money in your pocket. And here’s .