Consumer Alert: ‘Tis the season to be taxed. Here’s how to get your refund faster.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Tax season is starting early this year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will start accepting returns on Monday, Jan. 24. That’s 17 days earlier than last year.

The IRS is getting an early start but it’s already facing a backlog from last tax season. Add to that the fact that 20% of its budget has been slashed over the last ten years and it expects more cuts this year.

Want to call the IRS? Good luck with that. According to Treasury officials, the IRS staff is the same size it was in 1970 even though the U.S. population has grown by 60% since then. For all these reasons, the IRS wants you to file early.

Here’s Deanna’s Do List to assure you get your refund on time.

  • Check your mail. The IRS will send you statements in the mail this month with the amount you received for your advance child tax credit as well as your third stimulus check.
  • Make sure the amount in your return matches the amount listed in the IRS statement.
  • File electronically.
  • Ask for direct deposit.

If you don’t get your statement, you can get the amount you’ve received in your child tax credit on the IRS website.

Let me remind you why this is so important. Most folks with children got monthly payments that equaled half of your child tax credit. You’ll get the other half when you file your 2021 taxes. And in 2021 you also got the third stimulus check of $1,400. It does not count as income and will not affect your refund.

You may remember your advance child tax credit was based on the number and age of your children. But let’s say the IRS gets it wrong, and the statement says you got more money than you actually did? That’s where things get sticky. You should get professional help to walk you through the process of getting the refund you’re owed.

And that’s your consumer alert.