Tax filing season is looming on the horizon. However, you’ll still have to wait a few days before the government will officially begin taking a look at your documents.
Because of the government shutdown last year, the IRS won’t start processing electronic and paper tax returns until January 31. Although you should probably get started on your tax filings right now, don’t expect officials to start the annual event until the end of the month.
This is the second year in a row that the IRS has delayed the start of tax season. Due to of the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the IRS didn’t begin processing returns until January 30 of 2013. If you had any specific deductions, credits, or losses on your returns, then your couldn’t file your taxes until February.
IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said his teams worked hard late last year to adequately prepared for tax filing season. By the time January 31 rolls around, the government agency will reportedly have everything ready to go.
“The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers,” he explained.
Last year’s government shutdown pushed the official date from January 21 to January 31. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you have longer to file your taxes; the deadline is still presently set at April 15. If you need longer, then you’ll have to file an extension as always.
As tax season gets underway, the IRS urges folks to keep a sharp eye out for identity thieves. Since there are a large number of con artists and shady characters lurking about this year, the agency issued a press release to warn people about some of the dangers associated with the tax filing season.
The IRS issued the following statement:
“Tax scams can take many forms, with perpetrators posing as the IRS in everything from e-mail refund schemes to phone impersonators. The IRS warned taxpayers to be vigilant of any unexpected communication that is purportedly from the IRS at the start of tax season. The IRS encourages taxpayers to be on the lookout for phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts.”
The release adds that people should take extra precautions to protect their financial information, secure important documents inside the home, and to check your credit report every 12 hours if possible. The IRS stresses that people should not give out any personal information over the phone or through email.
Are you ready for tax filing season to begin?
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