PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – The 2022 tax season is underway and experts say how and when you file may have a big impact on your refund this year.

Monday, the IRS began accepting tax returns.

William Sharpe, president of Total Income Tax in Peoria, said you should manage expectations on when to expect your refund.

Sharpe said the IRS typically issues refunds within 21 days but it could take longer this year. The possible delays are due to staff shortages at the IRS which have created backlogs of 2021 tax returns.

To get your refund the fastest, Sharpe said most people should file electronically and not by mail.

“The folks that we are waiting for refunds from last year, many, many of those refunds are tax returns that were mailed in. So there’s a built-in delay. In years past it surely extended the processing time, but where it used to be six to 12 weeks, now it’s six to 12 months,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe also encourages filing early.

“Especially in light of the delays, and the problems that we’ve had for the last year or two with the IRS, I would absolutely recommend not to wait until tax day,” Sharpe said.

If you received the advanced child tax credit, Sharpe said you should expect to see a reduced refund this year. He added that you should receive a letter with details on how to file the tax credit.

Sharpe also said those who received the $1,400 stimulus payment in 2021 must file it on their taxes, but it will not impact refunds.

The filing deadline is set for April 18.