2017 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 23 for Nation’s Taxpayers, Tax
Returns Due April 18
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service announced today that
the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, and reminded
taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.
The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more
than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The
IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared
electronically using tax return preparation software.
Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax
returns before Jan. 23 and then will submit the returns when IRS
systems open. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the
same time. There is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early
January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold
refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the
Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. In addition, the IRS
wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to
be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in
weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS cautions that many
affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the
week of Feb. 27.
“For this tax season, it’s more important than ever for taxpayers to plan
ahead,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “People should make
sure they have their year-end tax statements in hand, and we encourage
people to file as they normally would, including those claiming the credits
affected by the refund delay. Even with these significant changes, IRS
employees and the entire tax community will be working hard to make
this a smooth filing season for taxpayers.”
The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their
prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are
changing tax software products this filing season will need their adjusted
gross income from their 2015 tax return in order to file electronically.
The Electronic Filing Pin is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.
Gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2016 tax return.
April 18 Filing Deadline
The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18,
2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on
a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the
following Monday — April 17. However, Emancipation Day — a legal
holiday in the District of Columbia — will be observed on that Monday,
which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the
filing deadline across the nation.
“The opening of filing season reflects months and months of work by
IRS employees,” Koskinen said. “This year, we had a number of
important legislative changes to program into our systems, including the
EITC refund date, as well as dealing with resource limitations. Our
systems require extensive programming and testing beforehand to ensure
we’re ready to accept and process more than 150 million returns.”
The IRS also has been working with the tax industry and state revenue
departments as part of the Security Summit initiative to continue
strengthening processing systems to protect taxpayers from identity theft
and refund fraud. A number of new provisions are being added in 2017
to expand progress made during the past year.
Refunds in 2017
Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and
safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.
The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less
than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for
Beginning in 2017, a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds on tax
returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child
Tax Credit until mid-February. Under the change required by Congress
in 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 — until at least Feb. 15. This change helps ensure that
taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the IRS more time to
help detect and prevent fraud.
As in past years, the IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns
once the filing season begins. All taxpayers should file as usual, and tax
return preparers should also submit returns as they normally do —
including returns claiming EITC and ACTC.
The IRS will begin releasing EITC and ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15.
However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t
arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27
(assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return and the
taxpayer chose direct deposit). This additional period is due to several
factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process
After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be
processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds
to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many
financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays,
which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC
filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving President’s Day may
affect their refund timing.
Where's My Refund? on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app will be
updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund
filers a few days after Feb. 15. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on
Where's My Refund? or through their software packages until then. The
IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information
on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check
the status of a refund.
Help for Taxpayers
The IRS reminds taxpayers they have a variety of options to get help
filing and preparing their tax return on IRS.gov. Taxpayers can also, if
eligible, locate help from a community volunteer. Go to IRS.gov and
click on the Filing tab for more information.
More details can be found in www.IRS.gov
Retrieved from IRS. GOV - January 4, 2017