The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially declared January 29, 2024, as the commencement date for the 2024 tax season, signaling the initiation of the acceptance and processing of 2023 tax returns. Anticipating a significant volume, the IRS projects a staggering 128.7 million individual tax returns to be submitted by the tax deadline of April 15, 2024.
While the IRS will formally start receiving and processing tax returns on January 29, individuals need not wait until then to address their tax obligations. Those using software companies or engaging tax professionals can proactively work on their taxes as soon as they want to.
Filing Your Taxes Online, Easily and Quickly
Many software companies facilitate electronic submissions, holding them until the IRS initiates processing later in the month. Additionally, IRS Free File will be accessible on IRS.gov from January 12, offering an early start before the official opening of the filing season. The IRS Direct File pilot will be phased in as final testing concludes, with widespread availability expected by mid-March for eligible taxpayers in participating states.
Some of the accessible and user-friendly tools are:
Launching new Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs): Keep an eye out for a vibrant blue IRS sign in your local area. These centers provide complimentary tax assistance, staffed by trained IRS employees ready to address your inquiries and aid in the filing of your tax return.
Also, improved assistance is now accessible through the IRS toll-free hotline, along with an expanded customer call-back feature aimed at substantially reducing wait times. Furthermore, enhancements have been made to the Where’s My Refund? tool, the IRS’ widely utilized service for taxpayers.
Despite its popularity, the tool has historically provided limited information, prompting many taxpayers to contact the IRS for updates on their refund status. The revised Where’s My Refund? now offers more comprehensive and easily understandable messages about the refund status. These updates ensure seamless functionality on mobile devices, addressing the common issue of receiving a generic message during processing.
What Happens if You Don’t File Your Taxes on Time
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sets the deadline for filing federal income taxes each year. For the 2023 tax year, the deadline is April 15, 2024. If you do not file your return by this date, you may be subject to penalties and interest.
The first penalty you may face is a failure-to-file penalty. This penalty is 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%. For example, if you owe $1,000 in taxes and you file your return 60 days late, you will owe a failure-to-file penalty of $300.
The second penalty you may face is a failure-to-pay penalty. This penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that your payment is late, up to a maximum of 25%. For example, if you owe $1,000 in taxes and you pay your balance 60 days late, you will owe a failure-to-pay penalty of $30.
In addition to these penalties, you may also be subject to interest on any unpaid taxes. The interest rate for federal taxes is currently 4%.
If you are unable to file your taxes by the deadline, you may be able to request an extension. However, you will still be required to pay any taxes that you owe by the deadline. You can request an extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.