Filing Season Launches January 23; Some Refunds may be Delayed

The individual income tax filing season opens on January 23, 2017, the IRS has announced. The IRS also reminded taxpayers that the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) (P.L. 114-113) may impact certain refunds in 2017.

Filing season launch

The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns and processing paper returns on January 23, 2017.

Unlike past years, the IRS did not have to deal with late tax legislation in 2016. Typically, the IRS needed extra time to reprogram its processing systems for late tax legislation and that can move the start of the filing season to later in January.

The deadline for filing 2016 returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The deadline is three days later in 2017, because April 15, 2017 falls on a Saturday. Additionally, Monday, April 17, 2017 is a holiday in the District of Columbia. That holiday moves the deadline to April 18, 2017.

Refunds

The PATH Act generally requires that no credit or refund for an overpayment for a tax year will be made to a taxpayer before the 15th day of the second month following the close of that tax year, if the taxpayer claimed the earned income tax credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on the return. The provision in the PATH Act applies to credits or refunds made after December 31, 2016.

The IRS explained that it must hold the entire refund, even the portion not associated with the EITC and the ACTC. The IRS reported that it will begin releasing affected refunds starting February 15, 2017. However, the IRS reminded taxpayers that it may take additional time for financial institutions to accept and despot the refunds to taxpayers’ accounts. The IRS added that taxpayers can track the status of a refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS website and also the IRS2Go app.

“This is an important change as some of these taxpayers are used to getting an early refund,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We want people to be aware of the change for their planning purposes. We don’t want anyone caught by surprise if they get their refund a few weeks later than in previous years.”

ITINs

Another important change affects individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs). Under the PATH Act, any ITIN not used on a tax return at least once in the past three years expires January 1, 2017. In addition, any ITIN with middle digits of either 78 or 79 (9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN) will also expire on that date. The IRS encouraged affected taxpayers to renew their ITINs.

If you have any questions about the start of the filing season, refunds or ITINs, please contact our offices.

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Written by

Steve Moss, CPA is a partner at Holden Moss CPAs and loves helping businesses and their owners grow to be the very best they can be. Our other offices include Raleigh, Oxford and Warrenton. We are a little different at Holden Moss CPAs. While we still provide traditional tax and accounting services, years ago we realized many clients wanted help in running their businesses and were hungry for ideas, solutions, strategy, and execution. In response, we expanded our skill set and joined Ran One, a global network of business consulting firms. Our membership with Ran One gives us access to proprietary resources and analytical software to help our clients grow, become more profitable and valuable, and have the lifestyle they desire. Now, blended into the fabric of our normal tax and accounting needs, we are focused on our clients’ businesses in a very different way. While our approach is not right for everyone, for those whom it is, incredible results may be obtained. Whether you have a new, or established, business, or for those in transition of selling or retiring, or for those who simply need to develop an exit strategy or succession plan, our unique approach to client service may be the edge you need.

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