Another year has passed (allegedly), and tax filing season is here again. The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things, including last year’s federal tax deadline and the time it took for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to process returns. But how will it affect the process this year? The guide below walks through what you need to know about tax season 2022.
Tax Season 2022: The Facts
1. You Have a Little More Time to File
The 2022 tax season start date is January 24, over two weeks earlier than last year, and it ends April 18. Though, you may file an extension by April 18, which would give you until October 17. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns that the pandemic could impact processing times again this year and to plan accordingly. Don’t wait until the last minute, and use online services like TurboTax® OnlineTM to file electronically.
Tip: Become a General Electric Credit Union (GECU) member to save up to $15 on tax filing this year.1 You’re eligible for membership if you live, work, worship, or go to school in select Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana counties.
2. You'll Need to Report Child Tax Credits
One change in 2021 that will affect tax filing in 2022 is the introduction of Child Tax Credits under the American Rescue Plan. Families that received advanced monthly payments will need to compare the amount they received in 2021 to what they can claim on their tax return. The IRS should have sent you a Letter 6419 to use as a reference for this information. If you misplaced it or think you never received one, you can access it through the IRS’ Child Tax Credit Portal.
You may end up owing money if you were sent more than you were eligible for, which could happen if the IRS only had access to your 2019 tax return. Your income, filing status, or number of children may have changed in 2020 without their knowledge.
You can also claim a credit if you received less than what you were owed. The latter is true even for families that did not take advanced payments. Visit the IRS website for more information.
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Is Tax Deductible
That’s right! The masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes you purchased to keep you safe during the pandemic are tax deductible – but only if the following conditions are met:
- The expense (which includes both PPE and medical care) exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
- You weren’t already reimbursed for them under a health plan.
4. You Can Claim Economic Impact Payments Still Owed
If you’re one of the few individuals who were eligible for the third stimulus check and still have not received it, you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes. You will need two figures to do so: the amount you were owed and how much you received in 2021. The IRS will use this discrepancy to calculate your return.
5. You’ll Get a Tax Break for Charitable Giving
In the past, tax filers had to itemize their deductions – a process that subtracts an expense from your adjusted gross income (AGI) – to get a tax break for charitable donations. This allowed individuals to lower their taxable income and reduce their tax bill.
Itemized deductions differ based on your individual expenses throughout the year, whereas standard deductions are fixed for everyone. Many Americans had a giving mindset during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act aimed to reward this by temporarily allowing individuals and couples to claim the standard deduction for donations made in 2021.
Below are the fixed dollar amounts you may be eligible for based on cash donations made out to qualifying tax-exempt organizations in 2021:
- $300 for individuals.
- $600 for married couples filing jointly.
Keep in mind that filers still have the option to itemize their deductions. The standard deduction is simply an alternative, temporary option. Discuss your needs with a tax professional to determine the best course of action for you.
You’ll receive your tax return faster by submitting your bank account information for direct deposit at the end of the filing process. To do so, you’ll need the account number for your GECU account and the routing number. This information is listed on your statements, but can also be found in Online Banking or our mobile app:
- Online Banking. Go to My Accounts then click the hyperlinked name of the account you want to access. Click the carrot next to Account Details to view your account number. The routing number for GECU is 2420-7682-1.
- Mobile app. Go to Accounts then click the account you want to access. Select Details and the account number will be listed alongside your other account information. The routing number for GECU is 2420-7682-1.