The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that tax season will open on Monday, January 29, 2018. The IRS will begin accepting paper and electronic tax returns that day, with more than 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. This is a week later than had been widely reported.
Every year, taxpayers have questions about early filing. Many software companies and tax professionals will accept tax returns before opening day, January 29, 2018. That doesn't mean that your tax return will be filed early. Those software companies and tax professionals will submit returns when IRS systems open.
The law now requires the IRS to hold refunds tied to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15.
There may be additional delays: factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 27, 2018. That's assuming that affected taxpayers opt for direct deposit and that there are no other issues with the tax return. Plan accordingly.
Remember that the rule which bars IRS from issuing refunds for taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February applies to the entire refund - even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC.
As always, not all forms will be 'finalized' by the IRS and/or the software companies by January 29th; therefore, not all taxpayers will have the ability to electronically file their returns on that date with accuracy.