4 reasons you should file your tax return as early as possible, starting Friday, Feb. 12February 12, 2021
Yourare due in about two months from now. But rather than dawdle or delay, there are four solid reasons why you should file now. For starters, your taxes have several purposes this year in addition to determining your , if you get one — namely, .
The benefits of filing early don’t just apply to the millions of people whoas part of the , but it’s especially helpful to this group to file a return this year. Perhaps the check didn’t arrive because of a . Other folks had problems with , missing money for in general or an .
At least 8 million or morethis year to , and there are also benefits for tens of millions of people for a of up to — a than you think. We’ll explain everything you need to know. In addition, 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 advantages to filing 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 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 you’d have to claim a year from now on your 2021taxes.
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.
Timeline: When you could get your missing stimulus money and tax refund depending on the date 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 can you find out 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.
The IRS might owe you a payment from one or both rounds of payments — here’s why
There are all kinds of reasons why the IRS might still owe you stimulus check money, including:
To claim your missing stimulus payment on your taxes, do this
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 receive your missing stimulus money in one of these forms
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 .