As the federal tax deadline approaches soon, you may still have questions about filing your federal, state and business taxes in 2022. Economic Impact Payments, tax credits and other relief provided in 2021 have many people wondering how to file during the pandemic. Use USAGov’s tax season guide to understand steps you need to take to successfully file by the April 18 deadline.
Six tips to kick off the 2022 tax season
- Gather all required forms.
- File online with ease.
- Report benefits you’ve received.
- Claim credits you’re eligible for.
- Know the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
- Understand where to go for tax help.
Tip 1: Gather all required forms.
Collecting your tax documents is an important first step to filing your tax returns. These records include W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks and other income documents. Understand what forms you may need and access them online from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), order over the phone or receive them in your community at locations like post offices and libraries.
Tip 2: File online with ease.
The IRS gives you the helpful tools to file your taxes online. You can also receive your refund faster by signing up for direct deposit. Access the IRS Free File tool to see if you can start your tax return electronically. If you meet certain income requirements, you may qualify for free tax return preparations.
Tip 3: Report benefits you’ve received.
Millions of people received unemployment benefits because of the pandemic. These benefits are taxable and must be included in your federal tax return. However, Economic Impact Payments, also known informally as stimulus checks, are not taxable and don’t need to be not included in your gross income.
Tip 4: Claim credits you’re eligible for.
Different tax credits are available to filers preparing their 2021 returns. Understand common types of relief that could reduce the amount of tax you owe.
- If you did not receive an Economic Impact Payment you should have, you may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 federal tax return.
- Eligible families were able to receive advance payments of the Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan of 2021. If you got those advanced payments, you need to compare the total you received with the amount you’re eligible to claim. If you didn’t receive any payments in advance, you can claim the full amount of the 2021 Child Tax Credit.
- People with a low to moderate income with qualifying children may be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if certain rules apply to them. Even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file, you still must file a return to be eligible for the EITC.
Tip 5: Know the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
As a taxpayer, you have rights when dealing with the IRS. Keep the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in mind when you begin to file. You are entitled to things like your privacy, confidentiality and never paying more than the correct amount of tax.
Tip 6: Understand where to go if you need more help with your taxes.
Find answers to your questions about state-specific taxes, when you can receive your refund, navigating recent tax law changes, and more with these helpful resources:
- Engage with the Taxpayer Advocate Service to understand and navigate the tax system.
- Subscribe to tax tips directly from the experts at the IRS. You can also explore IRS.gov for resources in multiple languages, topics in the news, and how-to guides.
- Use the Interactive Tax Assistant to find answers specific to your circumstances.
- Visit USA.gov to find answers to your top questions throughout the 2022 tax season. USAGov leads people to official information on everything from IRS scam prevention to small business taxes and incentives to filing for the first time.