IRS kicks off tax-filing season as tax agency reopens

The Internal Revenue Service successfully opened the 2019 tax-filing season! More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2018 tax year are expected. The IRS worked to successfully implement the biggest tax law changes in 30 years.

Following the government shutdown, the IRS is working to promptly resume normal operations. “Taxpayers can minimize errors and speed refunds by using e-file.” The IRS expects many refunds to be paid by mid- to late February.

The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019, for most taxpayers. Because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17 to file their returns. Choosing e-file and direct deposit remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.

Most refunds sent in less than 21 days;

EITC/ACTC refunds starting February 27

The IRS expects to issue more than nine out of ten refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible a tax return may require additional review and take longer.

The IRS also notes that refunds, by law, cannot be issued before February 15 for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. This applies to the entire refund – even the portion not associated with EITC and ACTC. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to actually be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 27, 2019, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

The law was changed to give the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.