It is so hard to believe that the 2016 tax season is already coming. It feels like we just finished 2015’s tax season. Alas, the filing season for 2016 begins in just a few short weeks! The IRS will begin accepting returns starting January 23, 2017. That means a couple of things for us at Gagliano Associates. First, it means we get the opportunity to meet with a lot of our clients. Our clients aren’t just customers–they are like family. Second, it means it’s time to book now for your appointments. Night and weekend appointments fill up quickly! For your convenience, we are now offering online booking for the coming tax season.
Important Dates for the 2016 Filing Season
On Monday, January 23, the IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns. They are expecting more than 153 million individual tax returns in 2017 with four out of five tax returns being prepared electronically. Many tax professionals (us included!) will be accepting returns before January 23. Returns will be submitted when the IRS systems open for the season. Paper returns will also be processed starting on that same date. What does that mean for you? It means there is absolutely no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting electronic returns. In fact, it can delay your return even more if you file a paper return before January 23.
Possible Delay in Some Tax Return Processing and Refunds
The IRS is reminding taxpayers that a new law requires them to hold certain refunds. These include those returns which claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). These refunds will be held until February 15, 2017. Additionally, the IRS wants to remind taxpayers that it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through banks. And with holidays (President’s Day) and weekends, the IRS thinks that many taxpayers may not have their refunds available until the week of February 27.
What does all of this mean for you? It means that it’s more important than ever to plan ahead. Make sure you have all of your important tax documents. This includes your year-end tax statements, mortgage statements, or whatever else you need to file your tax returns. The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file as they usually would–including those who are claiming credits affected by the refund delay.
Other Filing Reminders from the IRS
It is important to keep copies of your tax returns for at least three years according to the IRS. We suggest keeping tax returns for at least seven years. Taxpayers who are changing tax software products this filing season or changing tax professionals will need their adjusted gross income from their previous year’s tax return to file electronically. The Electric Filing Pin is no longer an option. You can also click here for more tips on preparing to file your 2016 tax return.
Deadline for Filing in 2017
D-Day this year is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. This is a few days later than the traditional April 15 date. This is because this year the 15th of April falls on a Saturday. This would move the filing deadline to Monday, April 17. However, Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington D.C., is observed on that Monday. That pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18.
When to Expect Refunds in 2017
Isn’t this what most of us really want to know? First things first: choosing to e-file and using direct deposit for your refund is the fastest way to get your money. It is also the safest way to file an accurate income tax return and get a refund. Nine out of ten refunds will be processed in less than 21 days with some exceptions. The IRS will be holding refunds on tax returns claiming the EITC or the ACTC until mid-February. This is designed to protect Americans from tax hikes. It also helps make sure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the IRS more time to help detect and prevent fraud. They will begin releasing EITC and ACTC refunds starting February 15. However, most taxpayers won’t be seen in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27.
Book Your Appointments Now
It is important for our clients to note: even if you anticipate using the EITC or the ACTC, you can still book your appointment now. Even with the delay of releasing funds for these types of returns utilizing the credits, we can still prepare everything so it’s ready to be processed as soon as the IRS starts accepting returns. Don’t wait–our appointments fill up quickly!
We are really excited to see so many of you again. Remember to book your appointments now to reserve your space. We have evening and weekend appointments. You can also book a remote appointment. This is a very popular option we offer to our clients. We look forward to hearing from you and look forward to serving your tax preparation needs!