There have been a lot of changes to the tax code, and you’ll see some differences in your 2020 taxes this year as a result.

filing taxesCOVID-19 through a wrench into 2020, and ultimately may affect your refund. For these reasons it may be a good idea to consult a tax professional. The tax laws from 2019 which reduced the penalty for not having health insurance to $0 and increased the medical expense deduction to 10% of adjusted gross income, are still in effect.

Tax Filing Dates

When can I file my taxes? As soon as you receive your W-2 from your employer.

Deadline to file 2020 taxes or request an extension from the IRS: April 15, 2021. Use form 4868.

Date the earliest filers can expect a refund if they claimed EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) or ACTC (Additional Child Tax Credit:) First week of March 2021. This allows the IRS to verify credits.

Important resources to help you after you file your 2020 taxes

    • Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit: claiming an EITC
    • Mobile app for the IRS: IRS2GO
    • How to track your tax refund: Where’s My Refund?
    • Information about tax filing dates, refunds, extensions, and deadlines: gov
    • Access information about your personal tax situation, including past years’ transcripts and information about how, when, and where to file your taxes: IRS Account Info

How soon will the IRS issue refunds for the 2020 tax year

The IRS estimates they’ll take fewer than 21 days, from the date of filing, to issue about 90% of the refunds owed to U.S. taxpayers who file before the April 15, 2021 deadline. This takes into consideration if you opt for direct deposit, whether your return is simple, and if you claim EITC or ACTC. You’ll find the most up-to-date information at Where’s My Refund? Online. The website is updated once every 24 hours. Tax returns with EITC and ACTC refunds may not see updates until after March 1, 2021

2020 Income Tax Brackets*

* The tax rates are progressive. This means you pay the rate up to each level of income. For example, if you make $40,000, you’ll pay 10% on the first $9,525. Then 12% on the next $29,175, and 22% on the remaining $1,300.

Rate Individuals Married Filing Jointly
10% Up to $9,875 Up to $19,750
12% $9,876 to $40,125 $19,751 to $80,250
22% $40,126 to $85,525 $80,251 to $171,050
24% $85,525 to $163,300 $171,051 to $326,600

New standard deduction amounts for 2020

  • $12,400: single and married filing separately
  • $24,800 for married filing jointly
  • $18,650 for heads of household

This deduction reduces taxable income according to the chart, above. You can choose to itemize deductions or take the standard deduction. If you are unsure which option will leave you with a lower tax bill, go ahead and consult a tax professional that offers a free, no-obligation quote. Using a professional tax service is the best way to make sure your taxes are done properly, and new laws are adhered to.

Taxes can be overwhelming. That's why we've created the Sunset Finance Guide to Tax Returns to provide more information. 

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