The IRS will start accepting tax returns on Jan. 29, officially starting a filing season that again comes with a delay on some refunds until late February and an unusual ending date.
Taxpayers will be able to submit returns electronically or on paper as of that date, the Internal Revenue Service said. Processing of returns will start the same day for efiled returns but not until mid-February for paper returns.
Early refund seekers will see delays until mid-February if their return claims certain tax credits. The delay applies specifically if the taxpayer claimed either the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Anti-fraud measures prohibit the IRS from immediately paying out those credits, which have been targeted by fraudsters. The IRS expects refunds that include those credits to reach taxpayers’ accounts or debit cards beginning Feb. 27, as long as there are no other issues with the return.
More than 150 million tax returns are expected to hit the IRS, either to claim refunds or cover taxes due. Filers can get an extension, though the IRS reminds filers that any taxes owed are still due before the filing deadline.
This year, tax returns are due on Tuesday, April 17, rather than the traditional April 15. Here’s the IRS’s explanation:
“In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday — April 16. However, Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in the District of Columbia — will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.”
Emancipation Day celebrates President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the act that freed 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia in 1862.
A similar delay happened a year ago when April 15 was a Saturday and the filing deadline was pushed to the following Tuesday.