Tax Season Starts February 12th

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Time to call up your accountant.

Happy first day of February! It’s still cold, we’re all still stuck inside, and I already have a headache. Yay. February’s a mildly interesting month, as the only holidays are Valentine’s Day and, debatably, the Super Bowl. Oh, but wait! We have another special occasion to mark on the calendar: the start of tax season!

We previously talked about the upcoming tax season a couple of weeks ago, but at the time, the IRS hadn’t actually announced when the season was starting. While it usually begins at the tail-end of January, it was delayed this year to ensure that digital tax-filing systems were ready to stand against the inevitable influx of submissions. For the obvious reason, a lot less people are going to be filing taxes this year. It seems they got the time they needed, though, because we’ve got a date: February 12. On February 12, you can start submitting your tax filings.

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However, while you can’t submit them until the 12th, you can prepare them right now. Tax prepping services like TurboTax and H&R Block are already on standby for appointments to put your filing together. Once it’s ready to go, they’ll just sit on it until the 12th, and then ship it out. In consideration for current circumstances, both of those services are offering virtual tax prep consultations. If you need some help putting everything together but don’t want to go to a physical office, you can make an appointment to have someone help you through a smartphone or webcam. If you’re okay with going solo, the IRS is also offering a free filing service on their website.

I’m sure I don’t have to explain the documents you’ll need to prepare, but there are a couple of outliers this year. For instance, if you didn’t receive the second stimulus check due to some kind of quirk in last year’s filing, you’ll want to get a 1040 form ready to claim your Recovery Rebate Credit. Also, if you received any pandemic unemployment assistance from the state, you’ll need a 1099 form. You should get either a digital version in your email or a physical one in your mailbox.

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