Free Covid-19 Rapid Tests and Helpful Tax Season Information

Posted on January 20, 2022


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The federal government recently announced a website allowing households across Connecticut and the country to order free COVID-19 rapid tests for delivery by visiting: https://www.covidtests.gov/. Just click on the website link, input your information and address, and confirm for four free COVID-19 rapid tests to be delivered through the post office. These test kits are expected to be shipped in late January.

With tax season rapidly approaching, I also wanted to provide you with some information directly from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) that includes deadlines, filing tips and links to programs that are available to assist you.

April 18 tax filing deadline for most

The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Monday, April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17, 2022, to file.

File electronically and choose direct deposit

To speed refunds, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit information as soon as they have everything they need to file an accurate return. If the return includes errors or is incomplete, it may require further review that may slow the tax refund. Having all information available when preparing the 2021 tax return can reduce errors and avoid delays in processing.

Most individual taxpayers file IRS Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR once they receive Forms W-2 and other earnings information from their employers, issuers like state agencies and payers. Forms 1040 and 1040-SR and the associated instructions are available now on IRS.gov.

For the latest IRS forms and instructions, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/forms.

Free File available January 14

IRS Free File opened on January 14 when participating providers started accepting completed returns to hold them until they can be filed electronically with the IRS.

The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically to minimize errors and for faster refunds – as well having all the information they need to file an accurate return to avoid delays. The IRS’s Free File program allows taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2021 to file their taxes electronically for free using software provided by commercial tax filing companies.

In addition to IRS Free File, the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

Tips to make filing easier

To avoid processing delays and speed refunds, the IRS urges people to follow these steps:

  • Organize and gather 2021 tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and this year’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers valid for calendar year 2022.
  • Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on reconciling advance payments of the Child Tax Credit or claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus payments. There is no need to call.
  • Set up or log in securely at IRS.gov/account to access personal tax account information including balance, payments, and tax records including adjusted gross income.
  • Make final estimated tax payments for 2021 by Tuesday, January 18, 2022, to help avoid a tax-time bill and possible penalties.
  • Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers. Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.

File a complete and accurate return electronically when ready and choose direct deposit for the quickest refund.

Key filing season dates

There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year’s filing season:

  • January 14: IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through IRS Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting January 24. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
  • January 18: Due date for tax year 2021 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.
  • January 24: Individual 2021 tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins
  • April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension and pay tax owed
  • October 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns