Every year, taxpayers have questions about filing their tax return. The Internal Revenue Service has announced tax season will open on Monday, January 29, 2018. Tax professionals will accept tax returns before opening day but will not be transmitted until the IRS systems open. There is no advantage to filing a tax return on paper in January as it will not be processed until opening day.
Tax Return Filing and Processing
You can file your tax return once you have all the necessary information and documents needed to prepare. Your employer will have until January 31, 2018 to send out W-2s. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns until January 29th and will wait until mid-February to accept any returns. New provisions from the Tax Cuts and Jobs act passed last year may be reason for delay. Once the IRS announces date they will process e-filed returns that day and then mailed paper returns.
Deadline to File
The deadline to file is April 17, 2018. It is not April 15th because it falls on a Sunday and Emancipation Day on Monday. This is a holiday observed in Washington D.C. where IRS offices are located. If you cannot prepare and file your return by April 2017 you can request a six-month extension from the IRS. Although filing deadline gets pushed back to October 15th any payments due for the year are due by April deadline. Either way the IRS will charge interest and late payment penalties if you do not pay by April 18th.
The IRS will issue refunds in less than 21 days for most returns but can take up to six weeks after you mail in a paper return. If you request a paper check for your refund rather than direct deposit it will take an additional 10 days to allow for postal delivery. If you are expecting a refund because you claimed Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit the IRS will not issue a refund before February 15th. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 states the IRS will request more time to examine returns to prevent fraud