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When Can You File Taxes in 2021? | IRS Deadlines

Marin Perez

One of the most common questions people ask before the start of each new year is when to file taxes. As we enter 2022, you’re likely wondering: when can you file taxes for 2021?  While the IRS hasn’t yet announced the first day to file taxes for 2021, the IRS will likely start processing new income tax returns approximately February 2022. You are free to prep your taxes earlier with tax software or services but they won't be processed until the filing season starts. 

What is the filing deadline for 2021 taxes?

A big part of figuring out when can you file taxes in 2021 is knowing the 2021 tax return deadline. You have until April 15, 2022, to file your individual taxes for the 2021 tax year. If you need more time, you can file for a tax extension. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2022, to file due to holidays.

How can I pay my taxes?

Once you answer the question of “when can you start filing taxes for 2021”, you’ll need to know how to file 2021 taxes. And the good news is, you can make payments for your taxes a variety of ways:

  • Money order or check
  • direct debit
  • credit card
  • you can set up an installment plan
  • you can offer to make a settlement with the IRS. This is known as an Offer in Compromise.

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What happens if I don't pay my taxes or file my taxes?

If you don’t know when can you file taxes for 2021 and fail to do it on time, you may find yourself facing multiple penalties from the IRS. The IRS can charge you penalties for not filing your taxes and for not paying taxes you owe by the required deadline. These penalties and fees can quickly add up, as it can include interest, that compounds, on the taxes owed. The IRS could also impose additional tax liens or tax levies on you and your assets. Many self-employed workers also have to pay estimated taxes four times a year.

What about taxes for the self-employed?

When can you file taxes for 2021 if you’re self-employed? The self-employed or those who own their own businesses need to file their annual tax return by the Tax Day deadline. Be sure to take advantage of all the deductions you're eligible for to lower your taxable income.

How long does it take for a tax refund to go out?

After filing, it's common to ask, "Where's my refund?" The IRS claims it issues 90 percent of refunds within 21 days. If you e-file your returns and choose direct deposit, you should receive your refund faster than other methods.

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