IRS Announces January 29 as the Start of the 2024 Tax Season

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Executive Summary

  • Commencement Date: The IRS announces January 29, 2024, as the start of the 2024 tax filing season for processing 2023 tax returns.
  • Improvements Post-Inflation Reduction Act: Introduction of expanded services, digital advancements, and a pilot tax filing service.
  • Enhanced Taxpayer Experience: Focus on service enhancement to facilitate taxpayer interaction.
  • Key Dates: Outlines critical dates like the April 15, 2024, tax deadline, to aid taxpayer preparation.
  • Aim: Ensuring a smooth and efficient tax filing process for taxpayers.

IRS Announces January 29 as the Start of the 2024 Tax Season: What You Need to Know

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has officially set Monday, January 29, 2024, as the start date for the 2024 tax filing season. This pivotal date marks the beginning of the period when the IRS will start accepting and processing tax returns for the year 2023. This announcement is a crucial update for taxpayers, as it kickstarts the annual tax filing process, a period characterized by diligence and precision in financial reporting.

As part of the IRS’s ongoing transformation and improvement efforts, the upcoming tax season is expected to bring several enhancements aimed at facilitating a smoother and more efficient tax filing experience. This commitment to improvement follows the positive changes implemented in the 2023 tax season, largely attributed to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act​​.

Expanded Services and Digital Advancements

The 2024 tax season will see the expansion of several IRS services and the introduction of new tools. These include:

  • Enhanced In-Person Service: The IRS is reopening and expanding Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) nationwide. These centers will offer extended hours to better accommodate taxpayers’ needs​​.
  • Increased Toll-Free Line Assistance: Aiming to reduce wait times, the IRS has enhanced its toll-free line services and introduced an expanded customer call-back feature​​.
  • Refund Status Tool Improvements: The widely-used ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool has been updated to provide more detailed and clear refund status messages, reducing the need for direct IRS inquiries​​.
  • Paperless Processing and Digital Submissions: Taxpayers will now be able to submit correspondence and non-tax forms digitally, including the e-Filing of additional tax forms. This initiative is expected to enable the digital submission of up to 125 million paper documents annually​​.
  • Direct File Pilot Service: A new, free online tax filing service directly through the IRS is being introduced. This service, expected to be widely available by mid-March, will allow eligible taxpayers to file their 2023 federal tax returns online at no cost​​.

Key Dates for the 2024 Tax Season

The IRS has outlined several important dates for the 2024 tax season:

  • January 12: Opening of IRS Free File, allowing early tax preparations.
  • January 29: Official start date for filing individual tax returns.
  • April 15: Deadline for filing a tax return or requesting an extension for most taxpayers.
  • April 17: Extended deadline for residents of Maine and Massachusetts due to local holidays.
  • October 15: Deadline for those who filed for an extension​​.

Timelines for Refunds

The IRS aims to issue most refunds within 21 days of receiving a tax return. However, taxpayers are advised not to depend on receiving a refund by a specific date, particularly for important financial commitments. Returns requiring additional review may experience delays. The ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go app remains the most efficient way to check refund status​​.

Furthermore, due to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, refunds related to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) cannot be issued before mid-February. Most EITC/ACTC-related refunds are expected to be available by February 27 for those choosing direct deposit​​.

Conclusion

The IRS’s announcement of January 29 as the start date for the 2024 tax season, along with its continued efforts to improve taxpayer services, highlights the agency’s commitment to enhancing the tax filing experience. Taxpayers are encouraged to take note of these significant changes and key dates as they prepare for the upcoming tax season. The advancements in services and digital tools are designed to streamline the process, making tax filing more accessible and efficient for all.


Note: The blog post focuses on the general tax filing timeline and improvements made by the IRS for the 2024 tax season. For specific information regarding expat deadlines and other details, taxpayers should consult the IRS website or a tax professional.

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