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Monday, January 24, 2022, was the official start to this year’s tax season. By now, everyone should have received most of the information they need to make sure they file a complete and accurate return.

The start date for individual tax return filers is determined by how much time the IRS needs to perform programming and testing critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. Updated programming helps ensure that eligible people can claim the proper amount of the Child Tax Credit after comparing their 2021 advance credits and claim any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2021 tax return.

Some returns, filed electronically or on paper, may need manual review, which delays the processing if IRS systems detect a possible error or missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud. Some of these situations require the IRS to correspond with taxpayers, but some do not. This work does require special handling by an IRS employee, so, in these instances, it may take the IRS more than the normal 21 days to issue any related refund. In those cases where the IRS is able to correct the return without corresponding, the IRS will send an explanation to the taxpayer.