January 1st doesn’t just mean a new year; it also means a new tax season. This coming tax season comes with a few changes taxpayers should know.
The 2017 individual income tax filing season for 2016 opens January 23, 2017. While you can file your taxes before this date, the IRS won’t accept or start processing the return until their systems open on Jan. 23rd.
However, you will have a few extra days to file your 2016 return. This year’s filing deadline is April 18, 2017.
Changes to this year’s tax season also include potential delays in tax return processing. New identity theft and fraud safeguards put in place by Congress means those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) may face additional reviews of their refunds.
The Congressional law requires the IRS to hold tax refunds on those claiming the EITC or ACTC until at least February 15th. This is for the entire amount of the refund; no partial refunds will be issued.
The IRS cautions taxpayers that Feb. 15th is the earliest release of returns—those affected by the new Congressional law may not have access to tax refunds until the end of February. Nevertheless, the IRS still estimates that most refunds will be issued within the normal timeframe of 21 days or less from the date of filing (the earliest filing date being Jan. 23rd).
The IRS has both a website and a mobile app allowing taxpayers to track the status of their refunds. Taxpayers can use the Where’s My Refund tool on the IRS website. Social Security Number, filing status, and the exact refund amount are needed to use this tool.
The IRS2Go mobile app is available for free through most app vendors and will allow users to check their refund status, make payments, and answer tax-related questions.
This IRS video discusses delays pertaining to the EITC and ACTC, or you can read more here from the IRS about these and other issues affecting this coming tax season.
Christianson is here to answer your tax questions or assist with your tax preparation! Give us a call today at 320-235-5937 or toll-free at 888-852-5937.