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

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 Feb. 15.

Also, 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 Feb. 27.

Filing deadline 

The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, Apr. 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, Apr. 18, 2017.

February 1, 2017 9:05 am