(KLAS)– With the filing season beginning on Jan. 24, which is 17 days earlier than last year, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers of some things to remember when filling out income tax returns this year.

“The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

The IRS offered these five tips to help taxpayers speed up the process and refund while avoiding delays.

  • Use e-file and direct deposit to file an return to avoid delays
  • Collect all documents before preparing a tax return; make sure stimulus payment and advance Child Tax Credit information is accurate
  • Use online resources before calling the IRS to avoid lengthy phone delays
  • If you’re waiting on the 2020 tax return to be processed, enter $0 for last year’s Adjusted Gross Income on the 2021 tax return
  • Free resources are available to those who need help filing

The deadline for filing tax returns is Monday, April 18 this year, three days later than the typical April 15 deadline for filing taxes. The later date is a result of an Emancipation Holiday in the District of Columbia. By law, in Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone the same way federal holidays do.

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have to file until Monday, Oct.17.

For more tips to help prepare for the 2021 tax season. Visit the IRS website here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.