As you begin your tax planning for the year 2021, it is vital to keep some important dates posted where you will remember them so that you don’t miss any important tax filing deadlines. Below are some dates to remember for this year.

January 15, 2021

IRS free file opens, meaning taxpayers can now file their returns through the multiple Free File partners.

Also, if you are a business owner or someone who is self-employed and expecting to make estimated tax payments throughout 2021, January 15 is the date that the final estimated tax payment for 2020 is due.

January 19, 2021

Free MilTax service for service members opens to prepare 2020 returns.

January 29, 2021

This date is Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, a date the IRS tries to raise the awareness of taxpayers of the existence of tax credits that are available to many filers.

February 12, 2021

IRS begins accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns. While no returns will be processed by the agency before this date, American taxpayers can now begin working with the tax software companies to start their returns. Once accepted the software companies will then file their customers’ returns on February 12.

February 22, 2021

If you are a tax filer who plans to claim either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), this is the date for the “Where’s My Refund” tool to be updated on the website for the IRS.

March 1 – 7, 2021

The first tax refunds will be accessible for those filers who claimed EITC and ACTC as long as the filing was done electronically and the tax filer is using direct deposit. Any tax returns that have errors or red flags will typically take longer to process.

April 15, 2021

Tax day, when all timely filed tax returns are due. This is also the due date to file the estimated tax payments for the first quarter of 2021.

June 15, 2021

Due date for second-quarter estimated tax payments to be filed by business owners and those filers who are self-employed.

September 15, 2021

Third-quarter estimated tax payment for 2021 due for self-employed filers and business owners.

October 15, 2021

For taxpayers who filed an extension on their returns, this is your filing deadline.

How to Prepare to File Taxes in 2021

The tax professionals at Certified Tax Solutions recommend that their clients designate a separate folder (or drawer, if you are a business owner and need more room) to hold all of their tax documents that arrive throughout the year. That way, whether you are filing online yourself or heading to your tax preparer’s office, everything that you need is in one spot.

You can also make a checklist to be sure that you have every tax document you need to file your 2020 tax return. Remember, the earlier you start your tax planning, the more time you will have to correct or amend your state and federal tax returns should there wind up being some kind of problem.