The Internal Revenue Service reported today that it has issued more than 4 million tax refunds already for the 2022 tax season as of February 4. Average refunds were $2,201.
- Total returns received: 16,685,000
- Total returns processed: 12,992,000
- Total refunds: 4,330,000
That’s 10 days into filing season which opened on January 24. The IRS expects to get 160 million individual returns this filing season for the 2021 tax year.
These numbers can shift dramatically during the initial weeks of the filing season, so the IRS says there are no year-to-year comparisons at this point. But if you look at the statistics for Day 8 of last year’s filing season, refunds were averaging $2,880 for nearly 30 million returns processed. One reason for the higher number of returns early last year was because last year’s filing season started two weeks late, giving taxpayers more time to be ready to file at the start of the season. One reason for the lower dollar amount of refunds so far this year is that most families with children got advanced child tax credit payments in the second half of 2021. Most of the money was simply an advance.
For most taxpayers, the due date to file and pay is Monday, April 18th, 2022, not the typical 15th because that’s Emancipation Day. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19th, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states. Victims of tornados in Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky, and victims of wildfires in Colorado will have until May 16th to file and pay. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, to file.
There is no intention to extend the April 18th deadline as was done in the past two pandemic years, said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig at a recent press conference. Rettig said he wanted to “thank taxpayers for their patience and understanding in working with us.” The IRS has faced enormous challenges due to the pandemic from processing centers being closed and new Congressional mandates including delivering stimulus payments and advanced child tax credit payments. “It’s an all-hands on deck approach to get people the help they need and get people their tax refunds,” Rettig said.
The leftover backlog of 2020 returns is unprecedented (6 million individual returns as of December 31). And telephone lines continue to be jammed.
Still, the vast majority of taxpayers—those who file electronically, with no errors, and choose direct deposit— should get their refunds in a timely manner (21 days), Rettig said. Taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and/or Additional Child Tax Credit should expect to see refunds by early March, according to Kim Corbin, IRS chief taxpayer experience officer.
Before you file, make sure you have two important IRS letters on hand. If you have kids, you’ll need Letter 6419 Advance Child Tax Credit Payments. If you got less than the amount that you’re eligible for, you’ll claim a credit for the remaining amount on your 2021 return. If you got more than the amount that you’re eligible for, you may need to repay some or all of that excess payment when you file.
Letter 6475 Your Third Economic Impact Payment specifies whether you got the third round $1,400 payment, including any plus-up payments and will help individuals determine if they’re eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus payments.
The fastest way to get your tax refund? File electronically and choose direct deposit for a refund. Choose direct debit if you have a balance due.
What if you still haven’t received your refund from last year? You can still file a 2021 return. If your 2020 tax return hasn’t been processed yet, enter $0 (zero dollars) for your prior year adjusted gross income (AGI). If you used the Non-Filers tool in 2021 to register for an advance child Tax Credit payment or third Economic Impact Payment (aka stimulus check) in 2021, enter $1 (one dollar) as your prior year AGI.