Now that the holidays are in the rear-view mirror, it is time for taxpayers across the Mid-Atlantic region to turn their attention to the start of the filing season. To that end, the Maryland tax attorneys at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg wish to remind everyone of important details pertaining to this year’s cycle, including critical deadlines and the refund delays which will apply to certain categories of filers. As always, we stand ready to provide the seasoned guidance and strategic insights on which individual and corporate taxpayers in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. have come to rely.
Acceptance of tax returns set to commence
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it will begin accepting and processing returns for the 2016 tax year on Monday, January 23, 2017. Over 153 million returns are anticipated to come from individual filers, with four of every five of them prepared with the help of electronic tax return software. It should be noted that a large number of tax preparation professionals and software firms will in fact accept returns prior to January 23, and they will simply hold the information for submission to the relevant agencies until official processing gets underway.
Deadline for 2016 returns shifts to April 18
Though April 15 is traditionally known to be the deadline for filing individual income tax returns with the IRS, the due date for 2016 returns will be Tuesday, April 18, 2017. This year, April 15 happens to fall on a Saturday, and though this fact would typically shift the deadline to the subsequent Monday (April 17), Emancipation Day, which is a legally recognized holiday in the District of Columbia, is set to be formally observed on that day. Therefore, pursuant to federal law, the deadline for filing for the entire country will be moved back an additional day to Tuesday, April 18.
Important changes to refund time lines for certain filers
As is generally the case, the IRS reminds taxpayers that opting to file electronically and receive refunds via direct deposit is the best way to ensure accurate processing of tax information and prompt receipt of sums due. While the agency again expects that it will be able to issue 90 percent of all refunds within 21 days of receiving a return, taxpayers should take note of a couple of key changes that are slated to take effect this year. Starting with this tax filing season, the IRS will be legally required to delay the payment of refunds until mid-February on tax returns that claim either the Additional Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. This regulation applies to the entire amount of the refund due, not just the portion related to the tax credits. The delays are intended to help the agency identify and thwart fraud, though they may represent an unanticipated inconvenience to certain taxpayers, particularly the lower-income filers these particular credits are designed to assist most.
Key assistance and informational resources for taxpayers
The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a number of resources exist that are designed to assist with the process of preparing and submitting accurate, timely returns. These include IRS Free File, Tax Counseling for the Elderly and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and information about these programs can be easily accessed through the IRS website.
For those with questions and concerns about any facet of their individual or business tax situations, the professionals at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg are ready and willing to offer help with matters relating to compliance, planning and reduction of future liabilities. To arrange for a consultation to discuss your specific tax-related issues and priorities, contact us today.
Additional tax filing resources
- Internal Revenue Service, 2017 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 23 for Nation’s Taxpayers, Tax Returns Due April 18, https://www.irs.gov/uac/2017-tax-filing-season-begins-jan-23-for-nations-taxpayers-with-tax-returns-due-april-18
- New York Times, For Earned-Income Credit Filers, Refunds Will Be Later, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/your-money/money-adviser-tax-refunds-tax-credits.html
- Internal Revenue Service, Refund Timing for Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit Filers, https://www.irs.gov/individuals/refund-timing