Tax Day occurs every April in the United States. While the calendar deadline to file is predictable, changes to tax filing requirements are not. For 2021 tax year, there are over 60 tax provision updates you may need to be aware of to successfully navigate tax season. Here are five that are likely to impact most taxpayers.

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1. Tax Day isn't April 15.

 

Taxes are typically due April 15, unless the date falls on a holiday or weekend. In 2022, Washington, D.C. will observe Emancipation Day on April 15. The legal holiday, which recognizes the end of slavery in Washington, D.C., pushes the federal tax filing due date to the next business day, which is April 18. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 19. These states observe Patriots' Day, which remembers those lost in the Revolutionary War, on April 18.

 

Taxpayers who need more time to file can submit IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return for an automatic six-month extension. The form must be received by the date your tax return was originally due to the IRS.

 

2. You may need to show ID.

 

Skip the IRS call center and avoid long wait times by using ID.me to view your total amount owed, payment history, and other account information. The new identity verification process allows you to access several IRS online services by providing a photo ID plus a selfie to verify your identity. The system uses facial recognition to ensure the correct person accesses your private information. You do not need to sign up for the service to file your federal return.

 

3. You may have a smaller refund.

 

Did you receive Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021? Taxpayers who did not opt out of these payments may receive a smaller tax refund. If you accepted these payments, you received up to half of the eligible credit last year. Since a partial credit has been issued, the entire credit will not be available at the time of filing.

 

You can determine how much Child Tax Credit you have remaining by visiting the IRS Filing Season 2021 Child Tax Credit FAQ page. Be sure you have IRS Letter 6419, Advance Child Tax Credit Letter on hand to ensure you're working with accurate numbers. Tax credit recipients should have received their letters in December 2021.

 

4. Taxpayers are eligible for higher standard deductions.

 

The decision to take a standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions is a personal one. It might vary each year and is dependent on your tax filing status. Taxpayers typically choose the option that provides the greatest reduction in taxable income. Depending on your tax filing status, taking a standard deduction in tax year 2021 could allow you to reduce your taxable income by up to $300 compared to tax year 2020. For instance, married couples filing jointly can take a standard deduction of up to $25,100, which is $300 more than the allowable 2020 amount of $24,800.

 

Before choosing the standard deduction, determine whether you could benefit from itemizing deductions. Since there's no itemized deduction dollar limit for 2021, the total could easily exceed the standard deduction.

                                               

5. Charitable giving deductions are more generous.

 

Your giving heart could help you at tax time. Until recently, you needed to itemize your return before charitable donations could help reduce your taxable income. A temporary provision allows those who choose a standard deduction to further reduce their taxable income by counting qualifying charitable contributions that were made by December 31, 2021. Your tax filing status will help determine if you're eligible to claim the maximum deduction of $300 per person.

 

 

Changes to the U.S. tax code occur every year, and some updates will affect you more than others. If you have questions about your specific situation, consult with a trusted, knowledgeable tax advisor. They can review your finances to help ensure you file an accurate and timely federal income tax return.