The 2024 tax season officially kicked off on Monday, January 29th, with the IRS accepting individual tax returns for the first time. This year, taxpayers are eagerly waiting to see if promises of better service translate into faster processing times and potentially larger refunds.
For many Americans, the tax season presents two burning questions: Will their refund be bigger than last year, and how long will it take the IRS to deliver it? A recent study conducted by Intuit Credit Karma revealed that over half of taxpayers plan to file early this year, primarily driven by the desire to receive their refunds as soon as possible.
The Median Tax Refund You Could Expect
With the average refund exceeding $3,200, it’s no surprise that this sum often represents the largest financial influx families receive throughout the year. Moreover, Credit Karma found that more than a third of those expecting refunds plan to use the money for essential expenses.
Concerns regarding refund timing loomed large during the pandemic, with millions experiencing delays due to IRS backlogs. However, this year offers a glimmer of hope. The Inflation Reduction Act allocated billions in additional funding to the IRS, enabling them to hire more customer service representatives and upgrade technology, including the popular “Where’s My Refund?” tool.
When Will the IRS Issue My Refund in 2024?
Tax season brings the anticipation of refunds, but uncertainty regarding their arrival can be frustrating. The IRS strives for a 21-day turnaround for most electronically filed returns; however, understanding the nuances behind this timeframe is crucial for realistic expectations.
Consider the 21-day window as an ideal scenario, not an absolute guarantee. E-filing your return on January 29th might result in a February 19th refund, but additional review due to complex deductions, peak filing periods, errors, or paper filing can significantly extend the wait.
Remember that these times can change from case to case, and you better get in touch with your tax professional adviser or your local IRS office.
Key Dates and Deadlines for Tax Filing
The first important date is when the tax return acceptance starts: The IRS began accepting tax returns on January 29th and will continue to do so until April 15th for most taxpayers.
Taxpayers residing in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 17th to file due to state holidays. Additionally, residents living in federally declared disaster areas are eligible for extensions.
Are you needing some more time? Well, there is good new for you: Individuals needing more time can request a filing extension, granting them an additional six months to submit their returns, pushing the deadline to mid-October.
IRS Trials Innovative Software Allowing Free Tax Filing
The IRS is introducing a novel initiative this tax season, known as Direct File, designed to assist Americans in submitting their tax returns directly to the government without any associated fees.
The program is initially being rolled out to specific filers in selected states to allow the IRS to conduct thorough testing and implement any necessary adjustments. This phased approach ensures a smoother introduction when the service is eventually extended to a broader group of taxpayers in the future. You can start using the software, which is available here.