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Americans race to file 2020 tax returns and get refunds; IRS reports 35 million returns in 1st week

Americans are apparently not messing around this year when it comes to filing their taxes and getting their refunds.
Tax Season Begins
Posted at 12:10 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 15:20:20-05

Americans are apparently not messing around this year when it comes to filing their taxes and getting their refunds. Nearly 35 million tax returns were filed in just the first week the IRS was accepting them.

Last year included a postponed tax return deadline and delayed refunds because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lingering issues, including participating in mailing out stimulus checks to Americans, meant the Internal Revenue Service delayed the date they started to accept returns in 2021 by a few weeks, starting mid-February as opposed to late January.

Between Feb. 12 and Feb. 19, the first week they were accepting tax returns, the IRS received 34,693,000 tax returns.

In the first week of processing returns in 2020, before the pandemic was widespread in this country, the agency only received 15,777,000 tax returns.

READ MORE: Get help on how to electronically file taxes for free

The agency is also reporting more than double the amount of web traffic to IRS.gov as compared to last year.

According to the IRS, the average refund right now is about $2,920.

Filing a tax return is the only way for people who have not received a stimulus check, or received the wrong amount, to receive what is owed to them.

Tax returns for the majority of Americans are due by April 15. Last month, the IRS granted an extension for all individuals and businesses operating in Texas and counties in nearby states declared disaster areas by FEMA because of winter storms.

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The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Monday, April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. By law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia for everyone except taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots' Day holiday in those states. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17, 2022, to file.