2022 tax season officially begins. Here's when you could see your refund

"Paper is not our friend. So don't wait for a paper check, use direct deposit," said Michael Devine of the IRS.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Monday marks the first day U.S. taxpayers can file their 2021 federal returns, and the headline is: file as soon as possible.

"This tax season is going to be challenging for the same reason last year was: COVID," said Michael Devine of the IRS.

Fewer people can go into the office because of COVID protocols. Plus, the worker shortage impacting other industries is also impacting the IRS. And, of course, there are COVID-related tax changes.

The IRS is also still dealing with a backlog of 2020 returns.

But there is some good news that could boost your refund.

SEE ALSO: 5 tax changes that can boost your refund this year

If you did not get stimulus checks that you qualified for as part of the pandemic relief package, you might be able to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes.

Also, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit was significantly expanded as was the Child Tax Credit.

The Earned Income Tax Credit was also expanded.

Here's one thing to keep in mind.

"Paper is not our friend. So don't wait for a paper check, use direct deposit," said Devine.

SEE ALSO: New tax rules might apply to you if you're getting paid on Venmo, Cash App

If you do that and file electronically, the IRS anticipates most taxpayers will get their refunds within 21 days.

And here's one more tip to help get the most of your refund.

Normally you can only deduct charitable contributions if you itemize. This year, most filers can deduct up to $300 and married couples filing jointly can deduct up to $600 for charities.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.