March 29, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Americans filing tax returns quickly. Americans are not messing around this tax season. In just one week since the tax filing period opened on February 12th, the IRS received nearly 35 million individual tax returns, according to data released by the agency recently. The rush of returns far outpaces what the agency saw last year, even before the coronavirus pandemic hit and led to an extended filing window. In the week ending January 31st, 2020--the first of the 2019 tax season--the IRS had received 15.7 million tax returns. Even by February 7th, 2020, the end of the second week of the 2019 tax season, the IRS had received nearly 29 million individual tax returns, less than they've received in just one week this year. There are a few reasons why Americans may be in a rush to file right now. First, the IRS pushed back the start of the filing to February 12th, so that it had time to prepare after sending out the second round of stimulus checks. Since the agency has not extended the filing deadline of April 15th--and has said that it does not plan to do so---people have less time to get their paperwork and any payments they owe to the IRS. Americans filing tax returns quickly.

People may be racing to file in the hopes they'll soon get a refund, which for many is the biggest windfall they see all year. The fastest way to get any refund you're owed is to file your taxes as soon as possible.  Filing a tax return is also the only way for Americans who didn't get stimulus checks they were eligible for, or didn't receive the correct amount, to receive the money. IF you had a drop in income in 2020 or had a child, you may be eligible for stimulus payments you didn't qualify for based on 2019 earnings. You may also be able to claim tax credits meant to aid middle and low income Americans, such as the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, which can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on income and family size.