IRS e-File Start Date

The Internal Revenue Service will start accepting federal income tax returns electronically soon at the time of writing this article. The same as every other tax season, the agency will begin the tax season at around the last Monday of January. 

Update: The IRS will start accepting returns on January 24.

Those who file their federal income tax returns electronically will get a head start – at least a portion of them due to the IRS hub testing. Although very few returns are selected for IRS hub testing to ensure that the e-file providers are running smoothly, electronically filing tax returns is a lot more efficient and faster than paper returns. 

We’ve talked about the benefits of e-filling, as well as comparing it with paper filing, but this article will solely focus on the important dates you should know about the upcoming 2024 tax season. 

Tax season beginning in…

There are no different dates for e-filed and paper returns. The IRS starts accepting them on the same day, with the returns part of the hub testing being the exception. 

Generally, the IRS begins the tax season on the last Monday of January, but the last couple of years have been an anomaly. Due to COVID-19, many new tax legislation was implemented, and to put those in order; the IRS needed more time. This caused a slight delay on which date the tax season started.

The best example of this is the last tax season where it started on February 12, which was an odd date as tax seasons begin at a much earlier date. Due to this, however, the filing deadline was also pushed further in time to May 17. 

As we’re still waiting for the IRS to announce the start of the tax season, we don’t have a set date yet – as of now. What we can have are some guesses, and that leads us to the last Monday of January as it has been this way for many years to come. 

IRS e-File extension

IRS e-File Start Date
IRS e-File Start Date 1

While some things about the tax season are still uncertain, some things don’t change, such as the tax extension. Whether you file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, or do it electronically, your new filing deadline becomes October 15. 

This is good news for those that need more time to prepare their 1040 attachments and gather additional documents to file their federal income tax returns. However, the payment deadline remains the same as April 15. If you don’t have a tax liability to pay and anticipating a refund, however, you can forget about these dates altogether but know that you won’t get your refund unless you file your federal income tax return. 

How to e-file taxes for free?

If you’re making below a certain amount and you’re not itemizing (in most cases), you can free file your federal income tax return electronically. The IRS Free File program involves well-known tax preparation services like TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer, and more. Learn more about it here.

Can I file taxes on TurboTax for free?

TurboTax is a part of the IRS Free File program. At the time of writing this article, however, the Free File is closed for the 2024 tax season, so we don’t know the exact requirements. For the last year, TurboTax only accepted returns from taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of less than $34,000 that are taking the standard deduction and with only the child tax credit and earned income tax credit on their returns.

How to free file an extension?

The same as filing a federal income tax return, you can use the Free File to request an extension to file. This works the same as filing a federal income tax return, but without limitations on adjusted gross income or any other. Everyone can free file an extension on Free File regardless of their income or any other.

I filed my return, now what?

Did you get a refund? Or will you pay the IRS? These are two important things that your tax return will reveal to you. If you haven’t understood what’s going to happen, the chances are you filed it wrongly. In the best case scenario, you didn’t but you also don’t know the outcome of your tax return. It’s best to wait it out and wait for a response from the Internal Revenue Service. The chances are you will amend the tax return you filed is still greater, however.

How to amend a tax return electronically?

When there are errors on a federal income tax return or the taxpayer has forgotten to claim a tax deduction or credit, they can amend their tax returns three years from the date the original return was filed. The IRS e-file amended returns aren’t a thing, though. The IRS doesn’t accept Form 1040-X, the form that you need to file to amend your return electronically; therefore, a paper form must be mailed to the IRS and that means paper filing. Luckily, you can get Form 1040-X for the 2024 tax season from our website and fill it out the same as an e-file and print out a paper copy to mail to the IRS.

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