MINNEAPOLIS — In a year where everything seems different, add tax season to the list.
Though April’s deadline is three months away, budget cuts, old technology and the pandemic mean there could be big delays.
"If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s file electronically," said Michael Crabtree, a Certified Public Accountant and a Partner at Boulay.
That’s because the IRS still hasn’t processed millions of paper returns from last year, so backlogged and understaffed, that even their helpline isn’t much help.
"The last two times I’ve called you hear, 'Sorry, that topic is full, we can’t help you, call back tomorrow'" said Crabtree. "And then you call back tomorrow and you get the same answer."
So experts say start on your taxes now by gathering your information while you wait for your W2s. One big thing to know: if you got a Child Tax Credit payment, it’s possible you’ll owe money.
"The IRS basically started sending people advances on the Child Tax Credit that they were expecting they would get on their 2021 returns" said Crabtree. "Either you might’ve gotten too much or you might’ve gotten too little."
You’ll get a letter in the mail listing that amount, and a second one if you got unemployment, which is taxable this year. Once you have those numbers, experts say if you file online and use direct deposit you shouldn’t have a wait.
"It will get overloaded, and if you have a big refund coming and the process is taking longer and longer you’re just going to have to wait to get your money," said Crabtree. "So the sooner the better."
In most cases, that should mean a refund in 21 days.