WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tax season officially starts on Monday. And experts recommend you file your taxes early this year, especially with a lot of changes brought on by the pandemic.

Tax expert Ray Maagero with Liberty Tax in West Springfield said parents will notice a change to two major credits. One is the child tax credit which used to be $2,000 thousand, but now it depends on income, ranging from $0 up to $3,600.

There’s also the child dependent care credit. Maagero says, “The child dependent care credit has gone up to $4,000 and qualified expenses and that’s per child.”

Pandemic protections also depend on whether you’re filing for state or federal for example there are some that have gone away for federal but some that are staying the same for Massachusetts.

“Last year the federal government allowed you a $10,200 exclusion for your unemployment. Massachusetts allowed the same thing last year as well,” said Maagero. He explained, “Federal is not following suit this year so it’s going back to the old rules. All your unemployment is taxable. But in Massachusetts, they’re going to allow that $10,200 exclusion of income.”

However Maagero said that as long as you are less than 200-percent of the poverty level. Due dates are also really important this year because they are different, especially here in Massachusetts.

  • The vast majority of the country will file on Monday, April 18. That’s Patriots’ Day here in Massachusetts.
  • The tax filing deadline will be Tuesday, April 19.
  • Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17 to file.