Tax Season Begins Today

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Tax season begins today (1/29/24); the IRS officially begins accepting and processing tax returns. For most taxpayers, the filing deadline is April 15, 2024. Residents of Massachussets or Maine have until April 17th due to state holidays. Taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area may also have extra time to file their return. If you can’t meet your filing deadline, you can file an extension, but you must still pay any tax you owe by original filing deadline or the IRS may impose penalties and interest.

When you’ll get your refund. The IRS website indicates that most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days, and EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) refunds may be available on 2/27/24. However, don’t count on that refund timeline when making major purchases or paying bills, because your refund could take longer.

Getting ready and getting your refund faster. Here are some tips for filing an accurate return that has a high chance of getting accepted, which speeds up your refund.

  • Gather all documents related to your income, including W-2s any 1095 forms, and any type of 1099. (Form 1099 is used to report income in the form of gig work, interest, unemployment compensation, dividends, pensions, annuities, or retirement plans.)
  • File electronically. Avoid filing paper returns whenever possible because the processing is much slower.
  • Receive your refund by direct deposit. When choosing this option, you won’t be forced to pay electronically if you owe tax–that only happens if you choose that option on your tax return.

Refund status. Once you file your return, you can check the status of your refund on the IRS Where’s My Refund page, or in the IRS2Go app for your phone.

  • Getting additional help. As part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the IRS was allocated funds to improve services. The following initiatives are a result.
    Opening new and reopening closed Taxpayer Assistance Centers. If you have tax issues, you can visit the nearest one.
  • Increasing staff on the IRS toll-free line and an improved call-back feature. Tip: The best time to call is early in the morning, late in the evening, or on Friday afternoons, when call volume is light.
  • Plain language status messages on Where’s My Refund that provide more detailed information. Previously, this tool provided very limited information communicated by generic and cryptic messages. It will also inform taxpayers if the IRS needs them to answer some basic information about their return.
  • Expanding paperless processing, enabling taxpayers to submit correspondence, non-tax forms, and notice responses online. All of this will be done through the Individual Online Account.
    Updates to the Individual Online Account, including scheduling and cancelling future payments, revising payment plans, validating and saving bank accounts, and initiating an online chat with IRS representatives.
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Gwen Harrison President

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