The IRS says there are some changes ahead in this year's tax preparation.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The IRS will start processing taxes soon. But before they do, there are some changes right out of the gate you need to know about.

"Usually, we start at the end of January or so. This year we're actually going to be opening the tax filing season Friday, Feb. 12," IRS spokesman David Tucker Jr. said.

Tucker says even if you submit your taxes early, the IRS won't get around to them until Feb. 12. The reason? The pandemic.

"With the second round of economic impact payments that we had to focus on delivering to taxpayers and those that were eligible, we now need the time to re-program our computers and test them and get everything prepared for the upcoming filing season," Tucker said.

Tucker also tells 3 On Your Side that you'll see a change on the 1040 tax form. That change is a line item to make a note of stimulus payments.

"It's on line 30 of the federal form. Fill out that information, and if you did not receive it if you are eligible and you did not receive an economic impact payment or a partial payment, make sure you put that information in there," said Tucker.

In other words, if you didn't receive one or both stimulus payments, line 30 is where you tell the IRS, so you receive a tax credit for the amount you didn't receive. And with COVID-19 affecting many of our lives during 2020, you might be eligible for something you didn't qualify for before. A Home Office Deduction because so many people are working from home.

On its website, the IRS states:

"You must regularly use part of your home exclusively for conducting business."..."if you use an extra room to run your business, you can take a home office deduction for that extra room."

And finally, Tucker reminds you to file electronically and request direct deposit because that's the fastest way for taxpayers who are due a refund to get their money.

"We estimate that most taxpayers will receive their refund in 21 days or less," Tucker said.

If you are expecting a refund, you're not alone because a lot of people are. But that only means you paid too much tax out of every paycheck, which is why you are getting money back. Last year, the average refund was around $2,800.


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