Tax Season

The federal government has made some changes to this year’s tax season in response to the unusual needs of the past year. Make a habit of visiting the official IRS website regularly, as changes to the tax filing or payment requirements may apply to your situation.

Here are four things individual filers need to know about in this year’s tax season:

  1. Deadline
    This year’s tax filing deadline is May 17, 2021. This should give everyone who needs it an extra month to get their taxes and documents in order before filing.

  2. Charitable Deduction Changes
    In most years, only taxpayers who are itemizing can claim deductions for charitable donations. This year, taxpayers who don't itemize and take the standard deduction may also take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made in 2020 to qualifying organizations. For more information, read Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.

  3. Stimulus Payments
    • If you received a stimulus payment, you will not owe taxes on it.
      According to the IRS: “The payment is not income and taxpayers will not owe tax on it. The payment will not reduce a taxpayer's refund or increase the amount they owe when they file their 2020 or 2021 tax return next year. A payment also will not affect income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs."

    • If you did not receive a stimulus payment, there may be a way to get it.
      If for some reason you did not receive your stimulus payment last year, but you qualified to get one, you can get it this year when you file your 2020 tax return with the Recovery Rebate Credit. If you only received a partial amount of what you were entitled to in 2020 — you could also get the outstanding amount you’re owed from your 2020 tax return.

  4. Refunds
    The IRS always cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and processing may take longer. For example, the IRS, along with its partners in the tax industry, continues to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud.

  5. Direct Deposit
    You don’t have to wait for the federal government to mail you a check. If you have a BancorpSouth checking or savings account, you can use it on your tax return to receive any refund you may be owed through direct deposit.

For more information or clarification on filing tax returns, stimulus payments or refunds, visit