The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that tax season for American taxpayers will begin January 19, 2016.
The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns that day. The agency expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed.
The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time and said that there is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for e-file to begin.
The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date. Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on that Friday, which pushes the deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation. (Due to Patriots Day, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 19, in Maine and Massachusetts.)
Although the IRS begins accepting returns on Jan. 19, many tax software companies will begin accepting tax returns earlier in January and submitting them to the IRS when processing systems open.
The IRS said that 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.