We are already few days into 2018 and filing returns is on every taxpayer’s mind. The IRS has announced the dates you need to remember.

Opening of 2018 Tax Season

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it will start accepting both paper and electronic returns on Jan 29, 2018. Although the IRS will not accept returns before Jan 29, many software companies will start accepting earlier and will submit when the IRS systems open.

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Filing Deadline to Submit Tax Returns

The deadline to file returns will be April 17, 2018, as the traditional filing date April 15 falls on a Sunday and April 16 is a legal holiday. This means that taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15. It is also the deadline to file for an extension in case you haven’t finished your tax return. You must file your extended returns by mid-October.

It is also reminded that under federal law, the IRS has delayed refunds related to claims for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or any Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) which benefit low and middle-income families until the middle of February.

This is done to give itself more time to detect deceptive returns and keep cash out of hands of criminals. Usually, the IRS issues refunds within 21 days, if no further review is required.

What’s New This Year?

While most changes will take effect in the year 2018 and beyond, here is one of the key changes that will affect this season.

Until last year, taxpayers taking medical expense deduction were able to deduct only qualifying costs which exceed 10% of their adjusted gross income or AGI. But this year the threshold is reduced to 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.

Taxpayers having an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) with middle digits of 70, 71, 72, 80 must make sure that they renew their ITIN as it will expire at the end of the year 2018.

Electronic Filing Has Its Own Advantages

The IRS has announced that paper returns will start processing after mid-February as the systems need to be updated. It strongly encourages taxpayers to file electronically to get faster refunds, as refunds can take a lot longer to go out on paper returns.

Don’t Rush It

Make sure that you have all the information before filing the returns. Employers are not required to send W-2s to workers until January 31. Other important forms also have similar or later deadlines. Rushing things can result in missing of important documents or incomplete information.

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