2021 tax filing season fast facts

Tax season officially began on Friday and it is shaping up to be another hectic year for taxpayers, preparers and the IRS.

"Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement last month. "Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation's most important filing seasons ever."

The start date was already pushed back, which Rettig said will help ensure taxpayers receive their refunds and stimulus payments as soon as possible.

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To help eliminate some confusion, the IRS is urging all taxpayers to file electronically this year with direct deposit to speed up and simplify the process.

Here are some quick facts about this year’s tax season:

Start date:

Tax season officially opens on Feb. 12.

Despite the delayed start date, it will end as scheduled on April 15.

Refunds for EITC and ACTC:

The IRS estimates the people who are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) will begin seeing their refunds deposited during the first week of March, provided they file electronically with direct deposit.

Average refund amount:

Last year's average tax refund was more than $2,500, according to the IRS.

The word "TAXES" is seen on the facade of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Refund wait time:

Nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return, the IRS said.

It will take longer for people who are waiting for mailed checks.

Deadline to file for people who requested an extension:

Oct. 15

Number of returns:

The IRS expects that it will process around 150 million tax returns this year.

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