As of January 24, the 2022 tax filing season has officially begun. Here’s what you should do to prepare for filing this year before the April 18 deadline.

Collect your documents

In order for you or your tax preparer to file an accurate return, it’s important to collect all the necessary documents before filing. It will help avoid errors, processing delays, and slowing your refund. You will need to gather the following applicable documents:

  • Forms W-2 from your employer(s) — you will need multiple if you are employed by multiple businesses
  • Forms 1099 from banks, unemployment compensation, dividends, and distributions
  • Form 1099-K or 1099-MISC if you are a freelance or contract worker
  • Form 1099-INT if you were paid interest
  • Any records of virtual currency
  • Form 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
  • Letter 6419, 2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
  • Letter 6475, your 2021 Economic Impact Payment to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit (if eligible)

You can find all of the forms above on the IRS website.

Use online resources

The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to use as many online resources as possible to help you find the information you need and mitigate delays and errors. This is especially important considering there were a few critical tax law changes in 2021, such as Recovery Rebate Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit.

If you haven’t already, we recommend setting up an online account with the IRS. Here you can view important information such as your payoff amount, the balance for each tax year for which you owe taxes, payment history, payment plan details, and more. An online account provides safety and security of your information, transparency and visibility, and ease of access.

If possible, it is also encouraged to file your 2021 tax return electronically with direct deposit. Tax preparation software or a trusted tax professional will guide you through the process and help avoid errors that will impact the status of your refund.

Recovery Rebate Credit & Child Tax Credit

If you didn’t qualify for a third Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amount you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. You will need to know the total amount of your third Economic Impact Payments to calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit amount. The IRS will send Letter 6475 with this information, and you can also view it using your online account.

You will also need to know the total amount of advance payments you received in 2021 for the Child Tax Credit (if applicable). You can access it through your online account as well, and the IRS will send Letter 6419 including this information.

Check the status of your refund

Once you’ve filed, if you’d like to check the status of your refund you can use the Where’s My Refund? tool provided by the IRS. The status is available 24 hours after an accepted e-filed return or up to four weeks after a paper return was mailed.

As always, any questions you have regarding compiling documents, filing a return, or using online resources can be answered by our skilled team at Shaw & Associates. Give us a call at 970-223-0792 or email