United States income tax season begins in late January and ends on April 15, the deadline for filing personal income tax. If April 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the tax day deadline is extended to the following Monday. If the tax day deadline falls on a federal holiday, the deadline is extended by one day. This occurred in 2018 when April 15 was on a Sunday, and the following Monday was Emancipation Day, so tax day was moved to Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
2021 U.S. Federal Income Tax
Tax season begins in January for the previous year and returns must be filed by April 15. If you expect a refund, file as early as possible. If you expect to owe money to the U.S. Treasury, prepare your return as soon as possible but do not pay until the deadline.
Note: If April 15 falls on a weekend, the deadline is automatically extended to Monday. Last year, the deadline was extended due the pandemic. This year, we expect a return to normal.
- When we checked in late December 2021, the IRS had not announced dates for filing 2021 income taxes. However, you can expect the season to begin around January 18, 2022 (the first date you can file your personal return).
- The federal tax filing deadline for 2021 income is Friday, April 15, 2022.
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If you are new to tax filing or just want help, listed below are several ways to get cheap or free income tax help in Washington state, in Seattle and surrounding cities in the Puget Sound region.
1. Online at IRS.gov. IRS.gov, is a one-stop shop for a wide array of tax information. You can prepare and file your federal tax return online for free through Free File, a service offered by IRS and its partners who make available free tax preparation software and free electronic filing.
2. Where to file simple personal federal tax returns for FREE. Free File is the fast, easy, and free way to prepare and e-file your personal federal taxes online. IRS e-file offers the fastest, safest way for people to receive their personal tax refunds. By using e-file and direct deposit, taxpayers can get their refunds in as few as 10 days. The following are popular ways to file personal federal tax returns for free:
- Use the IRS Free File website to file your income taxes online for free.
- United Way of King County (UWKC) Tax Help. UWKC offers free, virtual tax help to anyone living in Washington State.
- GetYourRefund.org offers free tax preparation services virtually from IRS-certified tax experts.
- MyFreeTaxes.com lets you file your taxes on your own for free.
- 2-1-1 offers tax information and assistance in a number of languages, including help on how to file your taxes for free.
- H&R Block offers free filing and free support for simple returns.
- TurboTax Online offers free filing of 1040EZ and 1040A forms.
3. Free income tax help at public libraries. Puget Sound area libraries offer tax preparation service every tax season. Hours and availability vary from one location to the next. Drop-in service may be available; it is advisable to make an appointment at your local library:
- Everett Public Library tax help
- Kitsap Regional Library tax help
- Pierce County Library tax help
- Seattle Public Library tax help
- Sno-Isle Library tax help
4. Telephone. Contact IRS Live Telephone Assistance at the following numbers, Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Individuals: Toll-Free, 1-800-829-1040
- Businesses: Toll-Free, 1-800-829-4933
- Exempt Organizations, Retirement Plan Administrators, and people with hearing impairments: Toll-Free 1-800-829-4059 (TDD)
5. Taxpayer Assistance Centers in Washington. When you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone and you want face-to-face assistance, you can find help at a Local Office in Washington or find your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.
6. Free income tax help through AARP. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free, individualized tax preparation for low-to moderate-income taxpayers – especially those 50 and older – at nearly 5,000 locations nationwide. There are about 90 locations in the Puget Sound region, including libraries and community centers.
7. BIDaWIZ is a great source for affordable and reliable tax advice from licensed business professionals providing finance and accounting services. The advice portion of the service is free to help you identify the best professional for your particular tax situation. Should you need or desire to hire a professional, they can also quote a fee be based on the complexity of the request, the time required to provide the service, the level of expertise required, and any other factors necessary to provide a solution. Typically, obtaining professional advice was expensive and time consuming. You might have to engage in “phone tag”, schedule meetings, and travel, all without the guarantee of obtaining reliable tax advice and information. BIDaWIZ provides a better way, giving you access to licensed and verified business professionals who can reliably suggest the services you need, tailored to your specific tax issues.
8. For those who qualify: VITA and TCE programs. Free tax preparation is available through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs. The programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.
The VITA program has operated for over 50 years, offering free tax help to:
- People who generally make $57,000 or less
- Persons with disabilities
- Limited English-speaking taxpayers
- Find a VITA Site Near You.
The TCE program offers free tax help, particularly for those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
- Get more info about The TCE Program
Common Errors when Preparing your Income Tax Return
To ensure you meet your tax obligation, file an accurate tax return. If you make errors on your tax return, it will likely take longer to process and could delay any refund. Click here for a list of the most common errors filers make when preparing a tax return.
One easy way to avoid errors and file an accurate return is to file electronically using IRS Free File.
Tax Day Discounts and Freebies
To help take some of the sting out of tax day, restaurants and other businesses offer tax day discounts and freebies–from food deals to massage and document shredding. When we find them we’ll post them and keep an updated list here: