MICHIGAN — Start getting those W2's, 1040's and 1099's together, because tax season officially kicks off Monday. But just like last year, this season is filled with uncertainty for both the IRS and filers. The IRS continues to deal with backlogs from last year and filing may be more complicated for those who received Child Tax Credit payments or stimulus checks in 2021.
"That's going to create a little bit of complication," Grand Valley State University accounting professor Chris Harper said.
Families who received Child Tax Credit payments should be getting a letter in the mail - Form 6419. This form will help parents accurately report the amount of money they received upfront in 2021. Another letter to keep an eye out for in one that will include information on a third stimulus payment if you received one.
"If you received your third round stimulus payment in 2021 you'll receive a notice in the mail allowing you to know what you received. It's important to report that amount on your tax return to know if there's any additional credit that may be available to you when filing," Jason Lillmars with local accounting firm Strategic CPA said.
Lillmars and Harper say if you're worried you may file incorrectly, reach out to a trusted accounting representative or business.
Lillmars says his firm is busier than ever, especially since they're seeing staffing shortages of their own with people out sick and working from home.
"It's been a challenge. Thankfully, heading into tax season, we feel pretty good. But admittedly, the last couple of years it's been hard and understandably so," he said.
The IRS is still dealing with backlog issues from last season that are sure to slow down this season as well.
"When they look at processing 2020 tax returns, they still have probably 6 million or so that they haven't gotten to yet, even as the 2021 tax filing season begins," Lillmars said.
Delays could be inevitable this year and filing early is key. Early enough to where everything is in order and correct.
"Just get it done and move on with your life to more interesting things," Harper added.
The IRS has posted answers to some commonly asked questions. Phone lines are expected to be extremely busy as they were last year.
"They actually received a record number of phone calls from taxpayers concerned about stimulus amounts and questions on PPP loans for small businesses. 282 million phone calls, and they were able to answer 11 percent of them," Lillmars added.
Last day to file is April 18, 2022.