Tax filing tips from the IRS

Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 6:27 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The IRS reports more than 55% of taxpayers use a paid preparer.

And while the agency says most preparers are honest people, some might take advantage of tax season to steal your bank account information. The IRS will start processing 2020 returns this Friday, February 12th, 2021.

If you’re going to hire a tax preparer to help, the IRS wants you to choose the right person.

Here’s what the federal agency suggests:

1) Look for a tax preparer who’s available all year - not just during this season - in case questions come up later.

2) Ask for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number. It is required they have one.

3) Search this IRS web page to check their credentials or to find someone qualified.

4) Try to hire someone for a flat fee instead of someone who bases fees on a percentage of your return.

5) Never sign a blank or incomplete return document. Check the details and make sure the money is set to come to you- the taxpayer- not the preparer.

You have until Thursday, April 15 to file your 2020 taxes. That’s when they need to be postmarked or submitted online.

Last year, the IRS pushed the deadline to July 15 because of the pandemic.

  • Jan 15 Final estimated tax payment for 2020 due
  • Jan 15 IRS Free File service opens to prepare 2020 returns
  • Jan 19 Free MilTax service for military opens to prepare 2020 returns
  • Feb 12 IRS begins processing 2020 returns
  • April 15 Deadline to file 2020 tax return
  • April 15 First estimated tax payment for 2021 due
  • June 15 Second estimated tax payment for 2021 due
  • Sept 15 Third estimated tax payment for 2021 due
  • Oct 15 Extended deadline to file 2020 tax return

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