The deadline to file a 2019 tax return and pay any tax owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the April 15 tax deadline.
"The IRS workforce has worked for nearly a year to prepare for the opening of tax season,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Our dedicated employees are committed to help taxpayers, process tax returns and serve the nation − not just through the April 15 tax deadline but throughout the year.”
While the IRS’ Free File program as well as many tax software companies and tax professionals began accepting tax returns earlier this month, processing of those tax returns begins as IRS systems open today.
The IRS expects about 90 percent of individuals to file their returns electronically. Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.
“The IRS reminds taxpayers there are many options to get help,” Rettig said. “Our website has around the clock information available and is the fastest way to get assistance. We’ve made improvements to the Free File program and filing electronically with direct deposit remains the best way to speed refunds and minimize errors. As always, experts in the nation’s tax professional community stand ready to help people navigate their tax issues. And we also remind people our IRS-trained community volunteers are ready to help file tax returns in locations across the country.”
Taxpayers: Rely on a reputable tax professional; IRS.gov can help
The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can prepare their tax return and provide helpful information and advice. Tips for choosing a return preparer and details about national tax professional groups are available on IRS.gov.
No matter who prepares a federal tax return, by signing the return, the taxpayer becomes legally responsible for the accuracy of all information included.
Please remember that GLM can help!
Gather documents and organize tax records
The IRS urges all taxpayers to make sure they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing. This includes Forms W-2 from employers and Forms 1099 from banks and other payers. Taxpayers should confirm that each employer, bank or other payer has a current mailing address or email address. Typically, year-end forms start arriving by mail – or are available online – in January. Review them carefully and, if any of the information shown is inaccurate, contact the payer right away for a correction.
In 2019, taxpayers who engaged in a transaction involving virtual currency will need to file Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments To Income. The Internal Revenue Code and regulations require taxpayers to maintain records that support the information provided on tax returns. Taxpayers should maintain, for example, records documenting receipts, sales, exchanges, or other dispositions of virtual currency and the fair market value of the virtual currency.
To avoid refund delays, be sure to gather all year-end income documents before filing a 2019 tax return. Doing so will help avoid refund delays and the need to file an amended return. Filing too early, before receiving a key document, often means a taxpayer must file an amended return to report additional income or claim a refund. It can take up to 16 weeks to process an amended return and issue any related refund.
Most refunds sent in less than 21 days; however, some require further review and take longer
Just as each tax return is unique and individual, so is each taxpayer's refund. There are a few things taxpayers should keep in mind if they are waiting on their refund but hear or see on social media that other taxpayers have already received theirs.
Different factors can affect the timing of a taxpayer’s refund after the IRS receives the return. Also, remember to take into consideration the time it takes for the financial institution to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account or to receive a check in the mail.
Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, some tax returns require additional review and take longer to process than others. This may be necessary when a return has errors, is incomplete or is affected by identity theft or fraud. The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail when more information is needed to process a return.
Choosing electronic filing and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects about 90 percent of individual tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. This applies to the entire refund − even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if the taxpayer chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.
After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers.
Refund information will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an electronically filed return on the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app. These tools will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC and ACTC refund filers by Feb. 22, so those filers will not see an update to their refund status date on Where's My Refund? or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates. Where’s My Refund? is the best way to check the status of a refund.