«

»

Jan 14

IRS ready to start 2016 tax season

IRS logoWASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s 2016 individual income tax filing season opens Jan. 19, with more than 150 million tax returns expected to be filed this year.

People will have several extra days to file their tax returns this year. Taxpayers have until Monday, April 18 to file their 2015 tax returns and pay any tax due because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., falling on Friday, April 15. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until Tuesday, April 19 because of Patriot’s Day observances on April 18.

The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to again receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the IRS issued 109 million refunds, with an average refund of $2,797.

“IRS employees have been working hard to get ready to help taxpayers this filing season,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “As part of our Security Summit initiative, the IRS has been working closely with the tax industry and state revenue departments to provide taxpayers with stronger protections against identity theft during the tax filing season.”

The IRS encouraged taxpayers to plan ahead and take advantage of the online resources available on IRS.gov.

“IRS.gov is the best place for taxpayers to go for information about filing their income tax returns this year,” Koskinen said. “Although we will have more people staffing our phone lines this year, we expect those lines to remain busy so we encourage people to visit the web first as the quickest and easiest way to get assistance.”

e-File and Free File
More than four out of five returns are expected to be filed electronically, with  a similar proportion of refunds issued through direct deposit.

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.

The IRS Free File program, available at IRS.gov, opens Friday, Jan. 15, and the IRS will begin accepting and processing all tax returns on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Commercial partners of the IRS offer free brand-name software to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $62,000 or less. Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File.

All taxpayers regardless of income will again have access to free online fillable forms, which provide electronic versions of IRS paper forms to complete and file. This option, available through IRS.gov, is free.

The IRS also reminded people to plan ahead, especially students and home buyers who request a copy of a tax transcript or tax return information for a specific year using the online Get Transcripttool. They should allow five to 10 days from the time they make the request to receive it by mail.

Protecting Taxpayers from ID-Theft-Related Refund Fraud
The IRS is working diligently with state tax authorities and the tax industry to address tax-related identity theft and refund fraud.  As part of the Security Summit effort, stronger protections for taxpayers and the nation’s tax system have gone into effect for the 2016 tax filing season.

The new measures attack tax-related identity theft from multiple sides. Many changes will be invisible to taxpayers but help the IRS, states and the tax industry provide new protections. There will be new security requirements when you’re preparing your taxes online, especially when you sign in to your tax software account, to better protect your tax software account and personal information.

Despite these security improvements to fight identity theft issues, the IRS will still process nine out of 10 federal refunds within 21 days. States have their own refund processing timeframes that may vary, and some states may make additional reviews to ensure refunds are being issued properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>