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How to get started filing your 2020 taxes now, even though tax season has been delayed

The start of tax season is delayed until February 12, but if you want to file your 2020 taxes now, you still can through IRS Free File.

How to get started filing your 2020 taxes now, even though tax season has been delayed
[Photo: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash]
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The start of this year’s tax season is delayed until February 12, but if you want to file your 2020 taxes now, you still can.

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The Internal Revenue Service’s Free File system opened for business in January. That means you can get an early jump on the process, but your tax returns won’t be relayed to the IRS until that same February date, the agency says.

On January 15, the IRS announced that it would delay when it starts accepting 2020 returns from the traditional late January until February 12. The postponement stems from the IRS’s additional task of handling the stimulus checks that were authorized in December as part of the coronavirus relief package.

Despite the delayed start, other tax-season dates remain the same. The deadline is still April 15 with October 15 as the deadline for people who file for extensions.

“Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, there have been five instances since 2007 when filing seasons did not start for some taxpayers until February due to tax law changes made just before the start of tax time,” the IRS says.

Don’t think this February 12 change is the IRS’s first calendar adjustment related to COVID-19. In 2020, the agency extended the April 15 deadline to July 15.

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You can find more information about Free File here, including everything you’ll need to get started.