Written by Spotloan

While this year’s tax season won’t be quite as complicated as the last, we’re not back to our pre-pandemic normal just yet. And while some of the recent changes may prove problematic, like potential delays, others may work in our favor, like the expanded Child Tax Credit. 

Good or bad, we’ve compiled some key points of what you need to know about tax season 2022, starting with some important dates. After all, being up to date on tips for your taxes and knowing the latest guidelines for this year’s tax season will help you avoid surprises down the road. 

What Is The Tax Filing Deadline for 2022?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started accepting and processing 2021 tax returns on January 24, 2022. Opening day for tax season came nearly three weeks earlier than last tax season's late start of February 12, 2022.

But if you’re still waiting on W2s, 1099s, or other documents you need to file, you’ve still got plenty of time. The IRS’s deadline for all federal tax returns and payments this year is April 18, 2022. While we do recommend filing as early as possible, we want to note that there is some wiggle room if you need it. 

What Is the Current Standard Deduction for 2022? 

If you choose the standard tax deduction over the itemized, which most people do, here are the current rates: 

  • $12,550 for single filers or married filing separately (up $150 from last season)
  • $25,100 for married couples filing jointly (up $300 from last season) 
  • $18,800 for heads of households (up $150 from last season)

Some deductions can be claimed whether you take the standard deduction or itemize. Charitable deductions may be the most common example of this. As an itemized deduction, you can deduct up to 100% of your adjusted gross income. 

If you choose the standard deduction amount, you can claim an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for single filers and $600 for married couples filing jointly for charitable contributions.

While most choose the standard, there are certain situations where itemized deductions would help you keep more money in your pocket. The IRS provides a comprehensive list of tax credits and deductions you can go through to determine if it would be better for you to choose the standard deduction or itemize. 

In a nutshell, if the value of expenses that you can deduct is more than the standard deduction you qualify for, itemize. If the standard deduction is higher, choose the standard. 

What Are the New Income Tax Brackets and Rates? 

Your tax bracket is your income range and your tax rate is the percentage of your pay that is owed in taxes. The IRS has recently updated its tax brackets and rates to account for inflation. You can find the 2021 federal income tax brackets here.  

Here’s an example of how the tax brackets work. The national median family income is $79,900. A married couple filing jointly with this income would land in the over $20,550 but not over $83,550 tax bracket, which means that they would owe $2,055 plus 12% of the excess over $20,550. 

And don’t worry, any stimulus checks you received last year will not affect your tax situation, so it won’t increase or reduce your refund. 

When Can I Expect My 2022 Tax Refund? 

The IRS is working hard this year to avoid a repeat of last year’s problematic filing season. The delays we experienced last year should not be nearly as significant this year. The IRS anticipates that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax return

An important note is that the IRS is talking specifically about electronically filed tax returns, and they are urging taxpayers and professionals to file electronically and avoid paper returns whenever possible. This will help cut down processing delays. 

If your tax return is accepted by January 30, 2022, you can expect your direct deposit to be sent on February 12, 2022 or a paper check sent on February 19, 2022. Jumping forward a few weeks for those still eagerly checking the mail for their W2s, the timeline continues as follows: 

  • Approval by February 20, 2022 would lead to a March 5 direct deposit or March 12 mailed check 
  • Approval by March 20, 2022 would lead to an April 2 direct deposit or April 9 mailed check 

You can find the full tax refund table here

*A note from Spotloan: We hope this article has provided some helpful information regarding this year’s tax season. However, as with any important tax-related decision, we suggest that you reach out to a qualified tax professional with any questions you may have.