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Pandemic continues to influence tax season, which begins Monday

Tax season kicks off Monday, but the pandemic continues to impact filing.The big takeaway this year is to not rush. Accountants suggest taking a second look to make sure all documents are in order, particularly those regarding COVID-19 relief payments. “Typically, you’d want to wait until the early part of February unless you are 100% sure you have these items when you file,” said CPA Joshua Jenson, founder of Jenson and Companies in Oklahoma City. Jenson said the best way to avoid delays is to wait until you receive two letters from the IRS: documents for the third stimulus payment and the child tax credits. “On your 2021 tax return, if you didn’t get the full amount, this is where you get the rest of those dollars that are due to you,” he said. Experts also advise taxpayers to take advantage of a new deductible this season.“The new big deduction in 2021 that’s very exciting is that you can deduct up to $600 in charitable contributions directly on form 1040 even if you do not itemize your deductions,” he said. “Do not miss that. It’s right there on Form 1040.”Jenson said that while the pandemic may have caused some returns to be delayed last year, he doesn’t expect things to be the same this year. “The IRS has done a phenomenal job, as well as the Oklahoma Tax Commission, at where it’s possible, having their agents either work remotely or in a safeguard situation that allows returns to continue to be processed,” he said. Another thing to keep in mind before filing is that employers had until Jan. 21 to send W-2s.

Tax season kicks off Monday, but the pandemic continues to impact filing.

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The big takeaway this year is to not rush. Accountants suggest taking a second look to make sure all documents are in order, particularly those regarding COVID-19 relief payments.

“Typically, you’d want to wait until the early part of February unless you are 100% sure you have these items when you file,” said CPA Joshua Jenson, founder of Jenson and Companies in Oklahoma City.

Jenson said the best way to avoid delays is to wait until you receive two letters from the IRS: documents for the third stimulus payment and the child tax credits.

“On your 2021 tax return, if you didn’t get the full amount, this is where you get the rest of those dollars that are due to you,” he said.

Experts also advise taxpayers to take advantage of a new deductible this season.

“The new big deduction in 2021 that’s very exciting is that you can deduct up to $600 in charitable contributions directly on form 1040 even if you do not itemize your deductions,” he said. “Do not miss that. It’s right there on Form 1040.”

Jenson said that while the pandemic may have caused some returns to be delayed last year, he doesn’t expect things to be the same this year.

“The IRS has done a phenomenal job, as well as the Oklahoma Tax Commission, at where it’s possible, having their agents either work remotely or in a safeguard situation that allows returns to continue to be processed,” he said.

Another thing to keep in mind before filing is that employers had until Jan. 21 to send W-2s.