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Tax season approaches with big changes

Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 21:53:32-05

It’s tax season, and for a lot of people there are a lot more questions going into this season — what happens if I didn’t get a stimulus payment, what happens if I did? How does this pandemic affect my taxes?

"Obviously last tax season was the first extension out until July 15. We’ve never seen that, and we had to work through that and then this tax season is definitely starting off different than we’ve ever seen before,” said Steffanie Haring, Franchisee/Tax Associate with H&R Block in Bozeman.

One of the biggest changes this year is the timing in filing.

“February 12 this year, very late. Now, you can still file your tax return right now. We’re cleary doing tax returns, and we’re putting them into the system and the IRS will start being accept. But it won’t fully open until February 12,” Haring said.

Which affects any tax refunds.

“Because the E-file opens up late, the IRS is advising taxpayers to not expect their refunds until the beginning of March,” said Haring.

Another change involves previous stimulus payments or for some people the lack of payments, which you may be able to get included in your refund.

“Some of the biggest questions that we’re receiving from clients is how do I get this amount? I didn’t get it. I got the first one. I didn’t get the second one or I’m going to miss out on it. You don’t miss out on it. You just have to do the reconciliation on the tax return," Haring said.

If you did receive the stimulus payments, the IRS doesn’t consider it as income, so you will not be taxed on them. Haring says there are multiple reasons why this tax season is more complex.

“So many tax law changes and there were so many last minute tax law changes,” she said.

Including a change for businesses who received coronavirus relief funds like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“Originally, the IRS had said the money won’t be taxable but you can’t deduct the expenses. So that was going to be a change in income. But now that CAA, the law that just went into effect at the very end of December clarified no. That is not taxable, and you can deduct the expenses. That was a huge change for businesses,” said Haring.