Tax season begins Monday: How the pandemic will continue to affect how you file

SPOKANE, Wash. — The 2022 tax season begins Monday, Jan. 24, which is 17 days earlier than last year.

Two years into the pandemic and it is affecting tax season yet again. From how fast the filing process goes to how you file altogether.

This tax season, the IRS is emphasizing filing early. Not only because you’ll get your refund earlier or have time to pay if you owe anything.

But the child tax credit and economic stimulus payments are a factor this year.


For families who received child tax credit payments in 2021, you may receive a bigger tax refund, get a smaller refund than expected, or even owe additional taxes depending on how much you received.

The IRS began sending out Letter 6419 to families in December and has continued this month.

This document shows the total amount of child tax credit payments you received, and you’ll need it when you get ready to file this year.

Married couples will receive two letters and need to use both.

If you received too much on your child tax credit payments, you’re going to have to pay it back.

Those who did not receive enough will get the remaining funds back in their tax return.

Here are some reasons you may have received more than you qualified for in child tax credit:

  • Qualifying child now lives with another parent
  • Income or filing status changed
  • No longer residing in the U.S. for more than half of 2021

If you think you didn’t get all you qualified for, here’s what you need to know:

The child tax credit for 2021 was up to $3, 600 for children under six and up to $3,000 for children between six and 17.

Qualifying families should have received up to 50% of these amounts as monthly payments — unless you chose to opt out.

You could now claim the lump sum in your tax return.


When it comes to the third economic stimulus payments, those who did not receive it or only received some of it back in June 2021 could qualify for the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit.

We told you about this last tax season as it applied to the first and second stimulus checks in 2020.

Third stimulus payments were $1,400 per person and $2,800 for married couples.

You could also qualify for the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit if your income drastically decreased in 2021, you fell below the income threshold, and suddenly qualified for the stimulus payment later.

If you’re unsure the amount of the third stimulus payment you received, check your IRS account online or the special notice sent out to recipients of the payment.

The IRS is also sending out another document — Letter 6475 — to confirm those totals this month.

When you’re ready to file taxes, there are resources you can use to determine how much you may qualify for on your return.

The IRS urges people to file early, electronically and to choose direct deposit for the quickest refund.

Setting up an online account at is the best resource to securely check your personal tax information before you file.

RELATED: It Pays to File Your Taxes Early This Year — Here’s Why

RELATED: Getting Your Tax Refund May Take Way Longer Than Usual This Year