No one really likes tax season. It’s inconvenient and annoying, sometimes even stressful, but we as Certified Public Accountant can’t skip it. Knowing how to file income tax returns properly will help ease your frustration, now and later.
That’s why we’ve assembled this guide that includes all of your burning questions regarding the tax return filing process, including questions like “when will I get my tax return?” and “when is tax season?” as well as who needs to file, some helpful tips, and how COVID plays a role in the 2022 tax season.
Who Is Required to File a Tax Return in 2022?
So, first off, who needs to file a tax return? The tax return requirements are:
If you’re single and under 65 years old, you need to file a return if your gross income was at least $12,650. If you’re over 65, then it needs to be at least $14,250 to file.
If you’re married, filing jointly, and both under 65, then you should be filing if your income is $25,100+. If one of you is over 65 then the minimum will be $26,450, and if you’re both over 65, then it’s $27,800.
If you’re the head of household and under 65, then you should file tax returns if your income was at least $18,800, and if you’re over 65, it’s $20,500. If you’re a qualifying widower and under 65, you must file starting at $25,100. If you’re over 65, then the minimum is $26,450.
Finally, you should file a tax return if you owe special taxes, you used money from your health savings accounts, or if your net self-employment earnings were at least $400.
When Is the Deadline to File Taxes in 2022?
The next question you’re probably asking is when is the last day to file taxes? Tax season started on January 23rd, 2022, but don’t worry! The tax filing deadline in 2022 is Monday, April 18th. If you require an extension, you can request one by filling out Form 4868. You'll be given six more months to complete your tax return.
A few other important dates to keep in mind:
- Jan 31, 2022: The deadline for employers to send their employees their W-2s.
- April 18, 2022: The deadline for your 2021 tax return, for requesting an extension, and for paying taxes that are owed.
- October 17, 2022: The due date for filing taxes if you received an extension.
Can You File Taxes Early?
Early tax return filing is common and generally encouraged. Beginning the planning process early will give you more time, and you won’t be struggling to file before the deadline. However, if you owe money, it might be more prudent to wait longer so you can determine how you’ll pay.
What Happens if You Miss the Tax Deadline
But what happens if you miss the tax filing deadline? Well, for federal taxes, if you’re getting a refund, then nothing. There is no penalty for missing the tax filing deadline if they owe you (state taxes can be different). However, if you owe the IRS, then there will be a monthly late fee of 5% of the taxes due.
How to File Your Taxes
It’s essential that you know how to file income tax returns no matter where you work. Knowing the steps and what you need to file taxes can reduce unnecessary delays and confusion, as well as decrease the chances of making mistakes.
Keep Security in Mind
You’ve heard it before: identity theft happens all the time. Normally, people do so by stealing a credit card, but during tax season the major danger lies in tax returns filed in your name so the thief can steal your refund. Filing early can help prevent this problem. There are also identity theft monitoring services that can help catch fraud.
Check that Your Numbers and Forms Are Correct
Staying organized during tax season is essential because even the smallest mistakes can lead to much bigger problems down the road, including being audited. Make sure that all of your forms are accurate and filled out fully. Also, don’t forget to check whether the numbers, like income and returns, are correct.
Use Tax Software
Tax rules and regulations are ever-changing, and it’s easy for small details to be missed. Software services like TurboTax and H&R Block can make filing taxes a painless process. Not only can you say goodbye to headaches, but you can also be sure that you’re doing everything you can to avoid fines and audits.
Documents You Need to File Your Taxes
Your next question is probably, “what documents do I need to file taxes?” ensuring you have every necessary document in preparation for tax season will save you a lot of time and challenges later on.
See below for a few of the possible documents needed to file taxes:
- A W-2 Form from your employer.
- 1099 Forms including 1099-K, 1099-MISC, and 1099-INT that cover interest, unemployment compensation, dividends, retirement plans, and other miscellaneous income.
- 1098 Forms for mortgage interest statements.
- Letter 6475 for your stimulus payments.
- Letter 6419 will reconcile 2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit Payments.
More forms are available on IRS.gov.
When Will You Get Your Tax Return?
So how long does it take to receive a tax return? Generally, you should receive your refund in about three weeks. If you choose to get it through direct deposit, you are more likely to receive it sooner. If you mail in your tax return, it could take longer to process — usually between six to eight weeks.
Will There Be Tax Delays Due to COVID-19?
Are tax returns delayed this year? With infection rates steadily increasing and limited funding from the government, many potential challenges can arise and there is definitely a possibility that there will be an IRS tax return delay. You can potentially avoid greater delays by filing electronically rather than by paper mail.
The earlier you do your taxes, the better, and tax season is right around the corner. Hopefully, this article, as well as your own research, will help guide you through this overwhelming process. But sometimes, a little extra help goes a long way. That’s why we recommend turning to tax professionals. To help you or your business through the dreaded season, Lewis. Cpa is here. Contact us for top-quality accounting and tax services that are personalized for your individual needs!