As we all know by now, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted just about every part of life – federal government agencies are no exception. One of the most frustrating realities of this pandemic was the impact it had on IRS operations.
In the spring of 2020, the IRS was processing not only 2019 tax returns but the first round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) a.k.a. stimulus checks. However, in response to the pandemic and efforts to lessen the spread of the virus, much of the IRS workforce was required to work remotely, resulting in a lengthy pause in the IRS mail processing.
As of today, the IRS has started bringing more employees safely back into work, but they are still woefully behind. While we know the IRS managed to provide tax returns for the majority of 2019 filers and delivered over 100 million EIPs, not every eligible person has received their due payment.
The official 2020 tax filing window opens on February 12, 2021, so below are some tips to keep in mind:
• File 2020 taxes electronically. This ensures a quicker return and alleviates potential issues with paper returns getting lost or delayed.
• The sooner you file your 2020 returns, the sooner it will be processed.
• According to the IRS, any eligible individual who has not yet received either the first or second EIP should claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when filing their 2020 tax return.
• According to the IRS, any eligible individual who has not yet received either the first or second EIP, and is typically a non-filer, should claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax return by filing a zero-return.
• Make sure your information with the IRS is both correct and current. Visit www.irs.gov to create an account, change an address, update direct deposit information, track an EIP, and find additional resources.
• The IRS typically uses mail as the primary means of communication. If someone calls you, and claims to be from the IRS, be on alert as this is likely a scam.
As always, my office is here to help constituents as best we can. If you have questions or concerns about the 2020 tax filing season, please reach out at https://dustyjohnson.house.gov/.