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IRS has issued a news release announcing that the 2017 tax filing season will begin January 23, 2017. Additionally, due to the Emancipation Day holiday, the filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns will be April 18, 2017. IRS also reminded taxpayers claiming certain credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.

Open season. IRS will begin accepting electronic and paper tax returns on January 23, 2017.

Refund processing. IRS reminded taxpayers that choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds is the fastest and safest way to file and accurate tax return and receive a refund. IRS stated that it generally anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but that there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.

Beginning in 2017, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act requires IRS to hold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until mid-February. The entire refund must be held, even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC, until at least February 15.

In addition, IRS stated that taxpayers should be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of February 27.

Where’s My Refund? on IRS’s website and the IRS2Go phone app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers a few days after February 15. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where’s My Refund? or through their software packages until that time.

Filing deadline. The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday, April 17. However, Emancipation Day—a legal holiday in the District of Columbia—will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

For more information about this year’s tax deadlines, contact Larson & Company today.