The IRS is now accepting tax returns as the annual tax filing season is underway. It expects taxpayers to file more than 155 million returns this year. Here are ten things the IRS wants taxpayers to consider as they are filing their tax returns (or getting help from your trusted tax advisor) this year.
- People have until Tuesday, April 17, 2018, to file their 2017 returns and pay any taxes due.
- Choosing e-file and direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.
- Families with incomes of $66,000 or less can file for free. They can do so using brand name software through the IRS Free File program. People who earned more than $66,000 may use Free File Fillable Forms.
- By law, the IRS cannot issue some refunds before mid-February. These refunds are for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. The IRS expects the earliest refunds related to EITC and ACTC to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018.
- The best way for taxpayers to check the status of a refund is to use “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app.
- Taxpayers with low and moderate incomes can get help filing their taxes for free. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs have more than 12,000 sites around the country. To find the nearest site, use the VITA/TCE Site Locator on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app.
- Taxpayers should have their year-end statements in hand before filing. This includes Forms W-2 from employers and Forms 1099 from banks and other payers. Doing this helps avoid refund delays and the need to file an amended return.
- IRS.gov is the place to go online for tools that help people as they prepare and file their tax return. This includes:
- Many Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers expired on Dec. 31, 2017. This includes any ITIN not used on a tax return at least once in the past three years. Also, any ITIN with middle digits of 70, 71, 72 or 80 is now expired. Affected taxpayers should act soon to renew their number.
- Some taxpayers using a tax filing software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from their prior-year tax return. They need this to verify their identity. Taxpayers using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter this information.