2017 tax filing season now open for taxpayers

| February 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

Internal Revenue Service
News Release

IRS logo color

IRS logo color

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has said it successfully started accepting and processing 2016 federal individual income tax returns on schedule.

More than 153 million returns are expected to be filed this year.

People have until Tuesday, April 18, 2017, to file their 2016 returns and pay any taxes due. The deadline is later this year due to several factors.

The usual April 15 deadline falls on Saturday, this year, which would normally give taxpayers until at least the following Monday. However, Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday, is observed on Monday, April 17, giving taxpayers nationwide an additional day to file. By law, D.C. holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do.

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, to file.

“Following months of hard work, we successfully opened our processing systems today to start this year’s tax season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Getting to this point is a year-round effort for the IRS and the nation’s tax community. The dedicated employees of the IRS look forward to serving taxpayers this filing season, and I want to thank all of the tax and payroll community for their hard work that makes tax time smoother for the nation.”

YouTube offers a Free File video. (Courtesy graphic)

YouTube offers a Free File video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSL83GTGXeE. (Courtesy graphic)

The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to get tax refunds this year. Last year, 111 million refunds were issued, with an average refund of $2,860.

Refund delays
A law change now requires the IRS to hold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. Under this change, required by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund – even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC.

Even though the IRS will begin releasing EITC/ACTC refunds on Feb. 15, many early filers will still not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27. The additional delay is due to several factors, including weekends, the Presidents Day holiday and the time banks often need to process direct deposits.

Free File

Free File

This law change gives the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud. Beyond the EITC and ACTC refunds and the additional security safeguards, the IRS anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible a particular return may require additional review and take longer.

Taxpayers are reminded that state tax agencies have their own refund processing timeframes that vary, and some states may make additional reviews to ensure their refunds are being issued properly. Even so, taxpayers should file as usual, and tax return preparers should submit returns as they normally do.

Free File on YouTube
Watch the video of Free File at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSL83GTGXeE.

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