(WKBN) – There have been shortages at businesses when it comes to workers, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) isn’t immune. On top of that, the agency is allowing people to start filing their taxes earlier than last year.

WKBN 27 First News spoke to a couple of tax experts about what you need to know when filing this year.

“Last year got off to a weird start. We’ve had two weird tax seasons in a row. Hoping this year will be a little bit more normal,” said Andrew Reigstad, owner of Tax 29 in Boardman.

This year, taxpayers can start filing on January 24, and the deadline to file is April 18, which is three days later than last year.

“The IRS is taking a closer look at many of the returns and sometimes it needs a human being to actually look at the return, check it off and process that refund before it can go forward,” Reigstad said.

One of the big things to consider this year is the child tax credit. If you haven’t, you should receive the remainder of the credit this year.

“It’s very important to let your tax preparer know or enter it on the tax return. Whether you’re claiming that child or not, that information will have to go on the return, and it will impact your tax return,” Reigstad said.

You might see less of a return after filing as compared to other years because of the child tax credit.

“You may end up seeing actually a decline in your refunds this year because you already got the money, so people that did receive those, keep in mind that might affect the amount of money you get back overall with your tax return because it was considered an advance,” said Nick Demetrios, of Hill, Barth & King.

If you haven’t in the past, you may want to consider filing online. The IRS is still backed up from the past two tax seasons.

The IRS is also warning that a resurgence of COVID-19 and less funding could make this season challenging.

“When you send a return to the IRS paper filed, somebody has to look at that return, open it up, key in numbers manually. It opens itself up for a lot of different errors,” Demetrios said.

If you’re on a payment plan with the IRS or are trying to communicate with the IRS, you might see some delays.