2017 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 23 for Nation’s Taxpayers, Tax Returns Due April 18
On January 23, the IRS officially kicked off the opening of the 2017 tax season, and is now accepting e-filed tax returns. However, as we all know, some taxpayers wait until last minute to file their taxes. But if you stop to think about it, why wait?
It is no secret that your tax refund can make a big difference in your financial life, and if you receive a tax refund – which the IRS reported about 75% taxpayers did last year – you may want to submit your tax return as quickly as possible. You can even get started now and finish later…even from your tablet or phone.
Still need convincing? Before you resign yourself to procrastinating until April to file, we have five great reasons why you should get a head start on your taxes.
1.Get your tax refund faster: The holiday season can take a toll on our bank accounts, which is why one of the most common reasons to file taxes early is to receive a faster tax refund. Last tax season about three out of four tax filers received a tax refund, and the average refund was close to $2,800! The IRS states that it will issue nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less with e-file and direct deposit. You could get a jump-start on paying down credit card debt, student loans or save it for a rainy day.
2.You may be eligible to file your taxes for free: Last year, nearly 10 million Americans filed their federal and state taxes for absolutely nothing with E-File. For the third year in a row, about 60 million Americans who prepare and file straightforward federal and state tax returns (those who file a 1040A or 1040EZ) can take advantage of absolutely free federal and state tax filing with TurboTax. $0 fed. $0 state. $0 to file.
3.Filing online is easy: Using E-File is accurate, and saves you money. Once you have gathered your tax forms, you can go online and answer simple questions related to you and get your maximum tax refund. There’s no reason to stand in line at a tax store when you can do your taxes in the comfort of your own home and even on the go.
4.DIY doesn’t mean you’re alone: When you file your taxes you have the convenience of filing your taxes when and where you want.
5.Extra time to pay taxes you owe: If you owe money to the IRS, you may still have a good reason to file your tax return as soon as you can. If you submit your tax return in the middle of January, you do not have to pay taxes you owe until the filing deadline in mid-April. Preparing your taxes early will give you time to figure out how you’re going to pay or other options if you owe.
Have any other questions about filing your taxes early and online?
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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.
Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File. Commercial partners of the IRS offer free brand-name software to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $64,000 or less.
Online fillable forms provides electronic versions of IRS paper forms to all taxpayers regardless of income that can be prepared and filed by people comfortable with completing their own returns.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offer free tax help to people who qualify. Go to irs.gov and enter “free tax prep” in the search box to learn more and find a nearby VITA or TCE site, or download the IRS2Go smartphone app to find a free tax prep provider.
The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can provide helpful information and advice about the ever-changing tax code. Tips for choosing a return preparer and details about national tax professional groups are available on IRS.gov.
Renewal Reminder for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINS)
ITINs are used by people who have tax-filing or payment obligations under U.S. law but are not eligible for a Social Security number. Under a recent change in law, any ITIN not used on a tax return at least once in the past three years will expire on Jan. 1, 2017. In addition, any ITIN with middle digits of either 78 or 79 (9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN) will also expire on that date.
This means that anyone with an expiring ITIN and a need to file a tax return in the upcoming filing season should file a renewal application in the next few weeks to avoid lengthy refund and processing delays. Failure to renew early could result in refund delays and denial of some tax benefits until the ITIN is renewed.
An ITIN renewal application filed now will be processed before one submitted at the height of tax season from mid-January to February. Currently, a complete and accurate renewal application can be processed in as little as seven weeks. But this timeframe is expected to expand to as much as 11 weeks during tax season, which runs from mid-January through April.
Several common errors are currently slowing down or holding up ITIN renewal applications. The mistakes generally center on missing information, and/or insufficient supporting documentation. ITIN renewal applicants should be sure to use the latest version of Form W-7, revised September 2016. The most current version of the form, along with its instructions, are posted on IRS.gov.