BlogTax2024 Tax Filing Season Begins January 29: IRS Enhances Services

2024 Tax Filing Season Begins January 29: IRS Enhances Services

2024 Tax Filing Season

Introduction

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has officially set January 29, 2024, as the opening date for the nation’s 2024 tax filing season. This year, the IRS is introducing several improvements to aid taxpayers, building on the enhancements initiated in the previous tax season. These changes aim to streamline the filing process and offer better support to taxpayers. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Filing Season Overview

The IRS is prepared to accept and process 2023 tax returns starting from January 29, 2024, expecting over 128.7 million individual tax returns by the April 15 deadline. Taxpayers can begin working on their taxes before this date using software companies or tax professionals, as most software platforms can submit returns electronically and hold them until the IRS begins processing.

Key IRS Improvements for 2024

Expanded In-Person Services

  • Opening and reopening Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) nationwide with extended hours.

Enhanced Telephone Support

  • Improved toll-free line support with a customer call-back feature to reduce wait times.

Upgrades to the “Where’s My Refund?” Tool

  • Detailed updates on refund status in plain language, optimized for mobile devices, reducing the need for taxpayers to call the IRS.

Paperless Processing Enhancements

  • Digital submission of correspondence and non-tax forms, with the capability to e-file additional tax forms.

Improved IRS Individual Online Account

  • New features like chat, payment scheduling, and bank account validation.

Direct File Pilot Program

  • A new, free online tax filing service directly through the IRS, available for eligible taxpayers in participating states by mid-March.

Important Dates for Taxpayers

  • January 12: IRS Free File opens.
  • January 29: Filing season begins for individual tax returns.
  • April 15: Deadline for most taxpayers to file tax returns or request an extension.
  • April 17: Extended deadline for taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts due to holidays.
  • October 15: Deadline for taxpayers who requested an extension.

Preparing for Tax Filing

The IRS advises taxpayers to organize tax records, including Social Security numbers, ITINs, Adoption Identification Numbers, and Identity Protection PINs, to file accurate returns and avoid refund delays. It’s also essential to report all taxable income and wait for all income documents, like various Forms 1099, before filing.

Electronic Filing and Direct Deposit

Filing electronically with direct deposit remains the fastest and easiest way to file and receive refunds. To avoid delays, taxpayers should file electronically and choose direct deposit for refunds.

Free Tax Filing Services

  • IRS Free File: Available from January 12 for families with an Adjusted Gross Income of $79,000 or less in 2023.
  • Free File Fillable Forms: Available to all income levels from January 29, offering electronic forms that can be filled out and filed at no cost.

Refund Timing and EITC Refunds

  • Most refunds issued in less than 21 days.
  • EITC refunds available starting February 27 for early filers, with updated status visible on “Where’s My Refund?” by February 17.

Additional IRS Resources

  • IRS Individual Online Account: Secure access to federal tax account information.
  • Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA): Answers to tax law questions specific to individual circumstances.
  • Choosing a Tax Pro: Directory of qualified tax return preparers.
  • Free Tax Help: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs for qualifying taxpayers.
  • MilTax: Free return preparation for military members and some veterans.

Understanding the IRS Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2024

Conclusion

The 2024 tax filing season presents several enhancements aimed at improving taxpayer experience and support. From expanded in-person services to the introduction of the Direct File pilot program, these improvements reflect the IRS’s commitment to making tax filing more accessible and efficient. Taxpayers are encouraged to utilize these services and prepare for the tax season with the resources provided. For detailed information and updates, visit the IRS website.



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