Raleigh, N.C. Mar 1, 2022 Effective March 1, the N.C. Department of Revenue (NCDOR) officially opened the 2022 tax season and began accepting and downloading 2021 individual income tax returns. Taxpayers who file state returns electronically will receive acknowledgements. The delay in opening the tax season is due to the late approval of the state budget, which included multiple tax law changes. The later start date provided the time necessary to complete the testing of system updates and approve updates in commercial tax preparation software. Tax returns are due this year on Friday, April 15. However, due to the Emancipation Day holiday, returns filed on or before April 18 will be considered filed on time and will not be subject to penalties or interest. NCDOR will begin issuing refunds in April. Taxpayers can check the ncdor.gov website on the status of refund processing and updates. Taxpayers are encouraged to file their taxes electronically; it is safer, more convenient, and more accurate than traditional paper filing. Free online filing (eFile) options for qualified taxpayers are available through the NCDOR.gov website using NCfreefile. Eligibility requirements for NCfreefile are available at: https://www.ncdor.gov/ncfreefile. Note: taxpayers must start at the agency website, www.ncdor.gov, to file their taxes for free. Learn more about filing individual income tax returns electronically. The NCDOR funds public services benefiting the people of North Carolina. The department administers the tax laws and collects the taxes due in an impartial, consistent, secure, and efficient manner.