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2018 tax filing season begins

The Internal Revenue Service has announced plans to begin accepting individual tax returns electronically on January 29, 2018.

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 29, with nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17 this year—so taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15.

Many software companies and tax professionals will accept tax returns before January 29 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns January 29, paper returns will begin processing in mid-February as system updates continue. The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds.

The IRS set the January 29 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems in advance of the opening and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 tax returns.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for filings claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the additional child tax credit (ACTC) before mid-February. While the IRS will process those returns when received, it cannot issue related refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC-related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 27, if the taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter prior-year information to electronically sign their 2017 tax return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option.

Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2017 tax return.

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