When Can I File My 2017 Taxes in 2018 and Other Key IRS Tax Return Filing, Deadline, Extension and Refund Dates

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[2017-2018 Tax Season Filing Dates] The table below shows the 2018 deadlines for filing 2017 tax returns and requesting extensions. Final tax returns are due by Tuesday, April 17th; unless a 6-month extension is approved. This is two days later than the standard April 15th date, because the 15th falls on a weekend this year and Monday, April 16th is the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington D.C.


An important point to note is that while you can file your taxes anytime after the beginning of the year, the IRS will not process any returns (paper or electronic) until IRS e-File goes live. This includes returns filed via the main tax software providers or directly via the IRS website for lower income filers. The IRS also reiterated that filing your taxes electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund. It is expected that more than 150 million tax returns will be e-filed in 2018.

Start filing your taxes for free with TurboTax, H&R Block, Tax Act or E-file

2017-2018 Tax Season Filing Key Dates and Deadlines

2018 Deadline
Tax Related Activity
January 1, 2018First day to file a federal tax return, though the IRS generally will not accept e-file and free file returns until the date below. Even paper based filings won't be processed till later in the month
January 26, 2018IRS E-file to go live, allowing submission of electronic tax returns for the vast majority of tax filers. Paper tax returns will begin processing from this date as well
January 31, 2018Date by which you should have received a W-2 from employers you worked for during the tax year. If not, contact their HR/Payroll department to resend tax documents
February 1, 2018Deadline for 1099 statements (factors in your AGI income) that report non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends and distributions from a retirement plan. This date is also the deadline for self-employed individuals to file and pay in full their fourth-quarter estimated tax payment
February 17, 2018Financial institutions (e.g Vanguard, Fidelity) must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date. See what these forms are and if you will need one for your return
March 17, 2018S Corporation and Partnership tax returns due
April 17, 2018*Tax Day* Last day for filing federal income tax returns and extension requests. Since April 15th is a Saturday and Monday is the Emancipation Day holiday the due date has been shifted out to Tuesday, April 18th.
April 17, 2018Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests. Last day to make a contribution to a Traditional or Roth IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), SEP-IRA or 401(k)
April 17, 2018FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) forms due for taxpayers who have signature authority over $10,000 in total in foreign bank accounts in the prior year. Laws enacted last year change the standard FBAR due date to "tax day" (vs June 30th as in years past). No extensions are allowed and forms must be filed electronically.
June 17, 2018U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad must file tax returns and pay any taxes due by this date (or file for a four-month extension)
October 17, 2018Filing approved extended federal, state and S-Corp/Partnership income tax returns Note: you still need to file for an extension request by April 17th
April 15, 2021Filing a 2017 tax amendment. You can file an amended or previous year return anytime, but you have a deadline of 3 years from the original due date to claim any tax refund.

Once your return is accepted by the IRS, the IRS processes your refund based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart. Exact refund dates are based on IRS processing times and can be found in IRS Publication 2043 and IRS Topic 152 for both e-filed and mailed returns. After filing and assuming your tax return is on order you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 21 days. If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date.

Note that for the 2016-17 tax season the IRS has announced that there will likely be tax refund payment delays. In particular for those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds may not be processed until after February 15 in order to perform further identity verification checks. To get specific details on your refund the best option is to review the official IRS Where’s My Refund tool once your return has been accepted.

A common question I receive is, “Will I get my refund faster if I file earlier?” The short answer is not really. Filing early can be beneficial because you get your filing done sooner (less stress) and get your refund in hand, but the IRS has said average refund times are the same no matter when you file. There are some other ancillary benefits of filing sooner like less chance of security issues with someone else filing falsely on your behalf but for most people they are dependent on their employer(s) to provide tax documents like W-2’s before they can file. My advice is to file between mid-February and the end of March, to ensure you have all your tax forms and documentation in order.

See the earlier tax years filing information in updates below for other details and answers to frequently asked questions. I encourage you to share/connect this article via Facebook or Twitter to get the latest updates for the coming 2016-2017 tax season.
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[2017 Tax Filing Dates] 

The table below shows the 2017 deadlines for filing 2016 tax returns and requesting extensions.

2016-2017 Tax Season Filing Key Dates and Deadlines

2017 Deadline
Tax Related Activity
January 1, 2017First day to file a 2016 tax return, though the IRS generally will not accept e-file and free file returns until the date below. Even paper based filings won't be processed till later in the month
January 23, 2017IRS E-file to go live, allowing submission of electronic tax returns for the vast majority of tax filers. Paper tax returns will begin processing from this date as well
January 31, 2017Date by which you should have received a W-2 from employers you worked for during the tax year. If not, contact their HR/Payroll department to resend tax documents
February 1, 2017Deadline for 1099 statements (factors in your AGI income) that report non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends and distributions from a retirement plan. This date is also the deadline for self-employed individuals to file and pay in full their fourth-quarter estimated tax payment
February 16, 2017Financial institutions (e.g Vanguard, Fidelity) must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date. See what these forms are and if you will need one for your return
March 15, 2017S Corporation and Partnership tax returns due
April 18, 2017*Tax Day* Last day for filing federal income tax returns and extension requests. Since April 15th is a Saturday and Monday is the Emancipation Day holiday the due date has been shifted out to Tuesday, April 18th.
April 18, 2017Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests. Last day to make a contribution to a Traditional or Roth IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), SEP-IRA or 401(k)
April 18, 2017FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) forms due for taxpayers who have signature authority over $10,000 in total in foreign bank accounts in the prior year. Laws enacted last year change the standard FBAR due date to "tax day" (vs June 30th as in years past). No extensions are allowed and forms must be filed electronically.
June 15, 2017U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad must file tax returns and pay any taxes due by this date (or file for a four-month extension)
October 15, 2017Filing approved extended federal, state and S-Corp/Partnership income tax returns Note: you still need to file for an extension request by April 17th
April 15, 2020Filing a 2016 tax amendment. You can file an amended or previous year return anytime, but you have a deadline of 3 years from the original due date to claim any tax refund.

[2016 Tax Filing Dates] The table below shows official 2016 deadlines for filing 2015 tax returns and requesting extensions.

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns that day. The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed.

The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date. Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on that Friday, which pushes the deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation. (Due to Patriots Day, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 19, in Maine and Massachusetts.)

An important point to note is that while you can file your taxes anytime after the beginning of the year, the IRS will not process any returns (paper or electronic) until IRS e-File goes live. The IRS also reiterated that filing your taxes electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.


See this page for the latest online tax software deals.

2015-2016 Federal IRS Tax Filing Key Dates and Deadlines (For Reference)

2016 Deadline
Tax Related Activity
January 1, 2016First day to file a 2015 tax return, though the IRS generally will not accept e-file and free file returns until the date below. Even paper based filings won't be processed till later in the month
January 19, 2016IRS E-file to go live, allowing submission of electronic tax returns for the vast majority of tax filers. Paper tax returns will begin processing from this date as well
January 31, 2016Date by which you should have received a W-2 from employers you worked for during the tax year. If not, contact their HR/Payroll department to resend tax documents
February 1, 2016Deadline for 1099 statements (factors in your AGI income) that report non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends and distributions from a retirement plan. This date is also the deadline for self-employed individuals to file and pay in full their fourth-quarter estimated tax payment
February 16, 2016Financial institutions (e.g Vanguard, Fidelity) must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date. See what these forms are and if you will need one for your return
April 18, 2016*Tax Day* Last day for filing federal income tax returns and extension requests. This is a few days later than the normal mid-April date since Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on the 15th
April 18, 2016Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests. Last day to make a contribution to a Traditional or Roth IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), SEP-IRA or 401(k)
June 15, 2016U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad must file tax returns and pay any taxes due by this date (or file for a four-month extension)
June 30, 2016FACTA (Foreign Bank Account Report) forms due for taxpayers who have over $10,000 in total in foreign bank accounts in the prior year. No extensions aren’t allowed and forms must be filed electronically
October 15, 2016Filing extended 2015 federal and state income returns. Note: you still need to file for an extension request by April 18th
April 15, 2019Filing a 2015 tax amendment. You can file an amended or previous year return anytime, but you have a deadline of 3 years from the original due date to claim any tax refund.

Once your return is accepted by the IRS, the IRS processes your refund based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart. Exact refund dates are based on IRS processing times and can be found in IRS Publication 2043 and IRS Topic 152 for both e-filed and mailed returns. After filing and assuming your tax return is on order  (see recommended providers)  you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 21 days. If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date.

A common question I receive is, “Will I get my refund faster if I file earlier?” The short answer is not really. Filing early can be beneficial because you get your filing done sooner (less stress) and get your refund in hand, but the IRS has said average refund times are the same no matter when you file. There are some other ancillary benefits of filing sooner like less chance of security issues with someone else filing falsely on your behalf but for most people they are dependent on their employer(s) to provide tax documents like W-2’s before they can file. My advice is to file between mid-February and the end of March, to ensure you have all your tax forms and documentation in order.

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2015 Tax Filing Deadlines (For Reference)

2015 Deadline
Tax Related Activity
January 1, 2015First day to file a 2014 tax return, though the IRS generally will not accept e-file and free file returns until the date below. Even paper based filings won't be processed till later in the month
January 20, 2015IRS E-file to go live, allowing submission of electronic tax returns for the vast majority of tax filers. Paper tax returns will begin processing from this date as well
January 31, 2015Date by which you should have received a W-2 from employers you worked for during the tax year. If not, contact their HR/Payroll department to resend tax documents
April 15, 2015*Tax Day* Last day for filing federal income tax returns and extension requests
April 15, 2015Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests
October 15, 2015Filing extended 2014 federal and state income returns. Note: you still need to file for an extension request by April 15th
April 15, 2018Filing a 2014 tax amendment. You can file an amended or previous year return anytime, but you have a deadline of 3 years from the original due date to claim any tax refund.

When will I get my IRS Tax Refund?

Once your return is accepted by the IRS, the IRS processes your refund based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart. Exact refund dates are based on IRS processing times and can be found in IRS Publication 2043 and IRS Topic 152 for both e-filed and mailed returns. After filing and assuming your tax return is on order  (see recommended providers)  you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 14 days. If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date.

A common question I receive is, “Will I get my refund faster if I file earlier?” The short answer is not really. Filing early can be beneficial because you get your filing done sooner (less stress) and get your refund in hand, but the IRS has said average refund times are the same no matter when you file before April 15th. There are some other ancillary benefits of filing sooner like less chance of security issues with someone else filing falsely on your behalf but for most people they are dependent on their employer(s) to provide tax documents like W-2’s before they can file. My advice is to file between mid-February and the end of March, to ensure you have all your tax forms and documentation in order.

See the earlier tax years filing information in updates below for other details and answers to frequently asked questions. I will continue to updates 2015 schedule dates if they change and encourage you to connect via RSS, Facebook, Twitter or Email to get the latest updates. You can also see this article for 2015 tax brackets and changes that will impact your tax filing next year.

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[Updated for 2013-2014 tax season] Due to the government shutdown in October 2013 most of the IRS staff were furloughed and so the backlog of work delayed systems being updated for the 2013-2014 tax filing season. Note however that the April 15th due date does not change, though requesting an extension until Oct 2014 should not be that difficult to obtain for most tax payers.

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2013 and Other Key Tax Filing, Extension and Refund Dates

The table below shows the main 2013 deadlines for filing 2012 tax returns and requesting extensions.

Deadline DateTax Related Activity
January 1, 2013First day to file a 2012 tax return. Though the IRS generally will not accept e-file and free file returns until the date below. Even paper based filings won't be processed till later in the month
January 30, 2013IRS e-file to go live, allowing submission of electronic tax returns for the vast majority of tax filers
April 15, 2013*Tax Day* Last day for filing 2012 federal income tax returns and extension requests
April 15, 2013Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests
October 15, 2013Filing extended 2013 federal and state income returns
April 15, 2016Filing a 2012 tax amendment. You can file an amended or previous year return anytime, but you have a deadline of 3 years from the original due date to claim any tax refund.

While you can paper file your 2012 tax return on January 1st 2013,  the IRS will not process any returns until after Jan 30th, 2013.  After filing and assuming your tax return is on order  (see recommended providers)  you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 14 days after they accept your return. If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date.

How long will it take the IRS to process my return and send me my refund check in 2013: The IRS has announced that it expects to process 2013 refunds within the same time frames as in 2012 where they issued more than nine out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in less than 21 days in 2012.

Other key 2013 income tax filing deadlines include (Excerpted with permission from J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax 2013: For Preparing Your 2012 Tax Return):

January 15, 2013 – Pay the balance of your 2012 estimated tax. Estimated taxes are tax due on income that is not subject to (employer) payroll withholding. This includes self-employment income, interest, dividends and alimony. If you do not meet this date, you may avoid an estimated tax penalty for the last quarter by filing your 2012 return and paying the balance due by January 31,2013.

January 31, 2013 – Make sure you have received a Form W-2 from each employer for whom you worked in 2012. If not, contact their HR/Payroll department. They are obligated to provided this information by this date.

April 15, 2013 – File your 2012 tax return and pay the balance of your tax. If you cannot meet the April 15 deadline, you may obtain an automatic six-month filing extension by filing Form 4868 (on paper or electronically). However, even if you get an extension, interest will still be charged for taxes not paid by April 15, and late payment penalties will be imposed unless at least 90% of your tax liability is paid by this date or you otherwise show reasonable cause. If you cannot pay the full amount of tax you owe when you file your return, you can file Form 9465 to request an installment payment arrangement.  April 15th is also the due date to pay the first installment of your 2013 estimated tax.

If on this date you are a U.S. citizen or resident living and working outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico, or in military service outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico, you have an automatic two-month filing extension until June 17, 2013.

June 17, 2013 – Pay the second installment of your 2013 estimated tax. You may amend your estimate at this time. If on April 15 you were a U.S. citizen or resident living and working outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico, or in military service outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico, file your 2012 return and pay the balance due. You may obtain an additional four-month filing extension until October 15, 2013, by filing Form 4868.

If you are a nonresident alien who did not have tax withheld from your wages, file Form 1040NR by this date and pay the balance due.

September 16, 2013 – Pay the third installment of your 2013 estimated tax. You may amend your estimate at this time.

October 15, 2013 – File your 2012 return if you received an automatic six-month filing extension using Form 4868. Also file your 2012 return and pay the balance due if on April 15 you were a U.S. citizen or resident living and working outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico, or in military service outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and by June 17 you qualified for an additional four-month extension by filing Form 4868.

December 31, 2013 – If self-employed, this is the last day to set up a Keogh plan for 2013.

January 15, 2014 – Pay the balance of your 2013 estimated tax.

April 15, 2014 – File your 2013 return and pay the balance of your tax. Pay the first installment of your 2014 estimated tax by this date.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian February 17

I did mine the 1st of February it was accepted but still processing how long do u think it will take for direct deposit?

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Everett January 30

I tried efile my 2016 return using turbo tax , I’m in the state of Florida and it has Florida as a state I cannot efile, When will Florida be ok to efile????

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Andy (Author) February 2

Florida has no state income tax. Your federal return is e-filed and subject to dates shown above.

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shai January 29

I own a small business I need to submit my corporate taxes before I can apply for a home mortgage. Does anybody know when E filing for corporations goes live?

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George January 21

I think a correction might be in order:

Starting this year, the FBAR filing deadline is Tax Day, rather than the end of June.
Please update accordingly.

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Andy (Author) January 23

Thanks for the catch and comment George. I missed this update. Also double checked with the IRS website and you are spot on – “The recently enacted Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 changes the standard FBAR due date to April 15 beginning with the 2016 calendar year reports, which are due in 2017. The FBAR deadline for calendar year 2015 reports remains June 30, 2016 (with no extensions allowed).”

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Elizabeth January 16

I have always filed my own taxes, every year. Working a little or alot. Been Unemployed and Employed… but last year, 2015/2016 threw me a curve ball. I was receiving EBT assistance aka Food Stamps, but not Medi-Cal/Medi-Care. I finally got around to applying. I wasn’t making enough to get my own Health Insurance. Only Health from them but not Dental which is what I really need. Anyway, last year when it came time to file my taxes I got scared about not having Health Insurance so I only filed my State. My question is “Can I still file my Federal, and How ?, meaning what forms would I use.” I usually use 1040EZ.

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Jennifer D. December 31

I Need Some Assistance,I Filed My 2015-2016 Tax Return And They Approved My Federal Tax Refund And Sent Me A Check But Then A Few Weeks Later I Was Told That My STATE Tax Return Was Pulled Randomly For Audit And I Never Received A Refund From My State Tax Return NOW I’m Worried That When I File THIS Year 2016-2017 Are They Gonna Take My Whole Federal Tax Refund Because Of The Audit Last Year? Even Though I Never Received A State Refund Check…..ANY Help Is Welcome Thank You

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Andy (Author) January 6

Wel,,,the state and federal (IRS) are different agencies. But if your state refund was pulled for an audit and there were issues likely will get examined again this year. If you do owe state taxes, the IRS may work with your local tax agency to garnish any amounts due, but this depends on the audit results. My suggestion is you call your local/state tax agency and ask them. They legally have to tell you why no refund was paid or if you owe more taxes. If the audit is in progress your current year tax refund will be processed normally.

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Rhonda Mullins December 27

When does employer’s start mailing out w2s

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Andy (Author) December 27

By mid January you should start seeing your W2s.

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Andy (Author) September 15

See why your 2017 tax refund maybe delayed and what to do asap- > http://www.savingtoinvest.com/tax-refund-payment-delays-likely-according-to-the-irs/

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Peter Rich January 8

Would you be kind enough to advise me when you intend to allow submission of 2015 1040NR
Income Tax Returns. Will the 2014 rules of at least six months processing time apply for 2015?

Many thanks for your response.

Peter Rich

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Chanaiah Lyons January 7

When will the IRS accept school credits for 2015 filing in 2016?

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Andy (Author) December 21

Official IRS notice on 2015-16 Tax season (per IRS.gov)

2016 Tax Season Opens Jan. 19 for Nation’s Taxpayers

WASHINGTON ― Following a review of the tax extenders legislation signed into law last week, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.

The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns that day. The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for e-file to begin.

“We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season on time,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “Our employees have been working hard throughout this year to make this happen. We also appreciate the help from the nation’s tax professionals and the software community, who are critical to helping taxpayers during the filing season.”

As part of the Security Summit initiative, the IRS has been working closely with the tax industry and state revenue departments to provide stronger protections against identity theft for taxpayers during the coming filing season.

The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date. Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on that Friday, which pushes the deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation. (Due to Patriots Day, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 19, in Maine and Massachusetts.)

Koskinen noted the new legislation makes permanent many provisions and extends many others for several years. “This provides certainty for planning purposes, which will help taxpayers and the tax community as well as the IRS,” he said.

The IRS urges all taxpayers to make sure they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing, including Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, and Form 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit.

“We encourage taxpayers to take full advantage of the expanding array of tools and information on IRS.gov to make their tax preparation easier,” Koskinen said.

Although the IRS begins accepting returns on Jan. 19, many tax software companies will begin accepting tax returns earlier in January and submitting them to the IRS when processing systems open.

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 anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Find free options to get tax help, and to prepare and file your return on IRS.gov or in your community if you qualify. Go to IRS.gov and click on the Filing tab to see your options.

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 $62,000 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.
The 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 VITA or TCE site near you, or download the IRS2Go app on your smart phone and 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.

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Sarojanie narine May 25

I did my tax April 15 n i did mot get anything yet

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unique April 25

I have never filed taxes, and still have w2s from 2014 what can I do?

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Heather January 18

As far as I know, you can still file your taxes as far back as 3 years. All you need is your W2 forms for the year(s) that you are requesting to file. The dates to file them is the same as the 2015 year.

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Andy (Author) January 18

But remember if you owe taxes, the interest and penalties start accruing from the tax year you owed that tax. So file on time or pay what you owe because interest and penalties can add up fast.

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Thomas April 17

Please when does Tax file extention begins ? and can i do that with Turbotax ?

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MC April 3

I received my tax refund April 1st. It was accepted and approved Feb 2. It was flagged for possible identity theft. Every thing checked out fine and they sent my refund. Hope this help some of you.

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Mimi April 2

Return accepted February 2nd. It’s been 2 months today. The “where’s my refund” link states that my return is still being processed. Can’t get in touch with anyone when I call the 1800 number. Spoke to a tax advocate, after being on hold for over an hour and they still couldn’t tell me why. This is so frustrating And certainly not fair.

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Haley February 13

I filed on the Jan 24!! And it is still processing! Why!! I don’t understand!! People filed a week or two after me and they already received theres!!

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Haley February 12

why it take so long to process??

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Jenny January 23

Wondering which tax software is the best for filing your return? By way of bloomberg here is a review

TaxACT is the cheapest option for most people. With only 115 full-time employees, TaxACT spends little on marketing but handles 7 million returns a year. Its pricing is relatively simple: Nothing at all for a basic federal filing tool with all the necessary forms, plus $15 for state filing. A deluxe package — federal return, state return and more guidance — costs $20.

H&R Block claims the cheapest option – $20 for a state and federal return. But that’s only available to those who fit narrow criteria, homeowners or others who file a 1040 form with Schedule A. And it’s only a better deal than TaxACT’s $20 option if you take into account H&R Block’s “in-person audit support.” Other H&R Block federal options cost $30 and $50 online.

TurboTax charges $37 for a state return on top of a federal return (the same as H&R Block). TurboTax raised prices by $5 this year, bringing “premier” to $55, or more than $90, if you include a state return. TurboTax says it can charge more because it’s a better product than its rivals;

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jen January 23

When is the IRS excepting efiles for self employed individuals? The site has it as “draft forms”?

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Andy (Author) January 23

Great question. For Self employed individuals you should be able to file from next week. Though if you generate your own W2 (for S-corp or LLC) you should be able to file as an individual now and for your business later

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Jessica January 23

If I file my taxes today. 1/23. Then it gets direct deposit into my account within 10 days correct? So I should have my refund by 2/2?

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Andy (Author) January 23

You should get in the prescribed time. But check the IRS, “Where is my refund tool” from IRS.gov to get the latest status. Also if there are issues with your return it may take longer to receive your refund.

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Alyssa January 23

I filed my tax return on 1/14/15 and it was accepted right on 1/20/15, however, it is only received to this day 1/23/15. Any reason why it hasnt been processed yet or are they not going to process ANY returns until 1/31. I got my refund within 7 days last year and dont know why it’s taking so long this year when i filed earlier.
Thanks

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mimi January 24

I did this too I also checked where is my refund it just sat received… Last yr I got my refund n like 7 day… I don’t know y its taking longer this year… Sorry no help..

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tyjeer January 20

What if you filed your taxes already but then you get w2 in you forgot that you work there???

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Andy (Author) January 20

You then have to file an amended return.

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Jenny January 16

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service and the Free File Alliance today announced the launch of Free File, which makes brand-name tax software products and electronic filing available to most taxpayers for free.

Free File software can help taxpayers with tax preparation, including the health care law that will affect almost everyone. People can use Free File software immediately but e-filed returns will not be transmitted to the IRS until Tuesday, January 20, when the filing season officially begins.

Free File is available only at IRS.gov/FreeFile, thanks to a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a consortium of 14 leading tax software companies that make their branded products available for free. Since 2003, more than 43 million people have used Free File, saving $1.3 billion based on a conservative $30-fee estimate.

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richard January 10

What tax breaks for first time home buyer’s are available for 2014/15

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Andy (Author) January 11

Other than the mortgage interest deductions, no new ones. But you can see this article I wrote on a 2015 homebuyer credit in terms of lower FHA mortgage insurance.

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Jenny January 3

If I file before or right on the 1/20 deadline will I get my refund faster?

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Andy (Author) January 4

There is not much of a timing difference in your refund if you file sooner rather than later. But the advantage of filing earlier is that you get it out of the way (less stress), reduce the risk of someone filing on your behalf (a common IRS security risk) and also provide time to file any amendments. That being said, filing early is hard for a lot of people because they need to wait till the end of Jan to get employer documents (W2 etc) and also the IRS sometimes has internal delays due to issues with their systems when processing early returns.

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Andy January 28

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that processing of tax returns claiming education credits will begin by the middle of February. Taxpayers using Form 8863, Education Credits, can begin filing their tax returns after the IRS updates its processing systems. Form 8863 is used to claim two higher education credits — the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit

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Mia January 26

By education credit do you mean POEPLE using form 1098? I already filled and I wanted to know if it would take even longer to receive my refund because I added my 1098. I filed on 1/16 and My refund status is “accepted”

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sammie February 10

This year?2016 education credits will be done in middle of feb 2016? Correct? Thanks

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Andy January 23

The IRS has confirmed that it will begin processing most individual income tax returns on Jan. 30 after updating forms and completing programming and testing of its processing systems.

The IRS will not process paper or electronic tax returns before the Jan. 30 opening date, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before then. Using e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return, and using e-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get a refund. Many major software providers are accepting tax returns in advance of the Jan. 30 processing date. These software providers will hold onto the returns and then electronically submit them after the IRS systems open. If you use commercial software, check with your provider for specific instructions about when they will accept your return. Software companies and tax professionals send returns to the IRS, but the timing of the refunds is determined by IRS processing, which starts Jan. 30.

After the IRS starts processing returns, it expects to process refunds within the usual timeframes. Last year, the IRS issued more than nine out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in less than 21 days, and it expects the same results in 2013. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, some tax returns will require additional review and take longer. To help protect against refund fraud, the IRS has put in place stronger security filters this filing season.

After taxpayers file a return, they can track the status of the refund with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on the IRS.gov website. New this year, instead of an estimated date, Where’s My Refund? will give people an actual personalized refund date after the IRS processes the tax return and approves the refund. “Where’s My Refund?” will be available for use after the IRS starts processing tax returns on Jan. 30. Initial information will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives the taxpayer’s e-filed return or four weeks after mailing a paper return. The system updates every 24 hours, usually overnight. There’s no need to check more than once a day.

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