Tax Season Officially Begins Today- Go Ahead, File Those Taxes!

For the benefit and convenience of taxpayers, both the beginning and end of the individual income tax filing season are the same as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If a thief uses your Social Security number to obtain a fraudulent tax refund or a job, you will likely receive a notice from the IRS telling you that you were paid by an employer you don't recognize, that you under-reported your income, or that more than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number.

Taxpayers have until April 18 to file their 2016 tax returns and pay any tax due.

This year's filing deadline is Tuesday, April 18, since the traditional April 15 date falls on a Saturday, and D.C. Emancipation Day is observed on April 17.

Whether you're doing your own taxes or having someone help you, you should have you year-end tax statements readily available to help the process go as smoothly as possible. The I.R.S. says it will continue to combat refund fraud and identity theft.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, or PATH Act, gives the IRS more time to help detect and prevent tax fraud.

"We encourage taxpayers to file as they normally would, including returns claiming the EITC or ACTC", Koskinen said. In addition, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions.




Tax season is also the prime identity theft period.

Free filing options - almost two million IN taxpayers qualify to file their federal and state income taxes online for free using IN freefile (INfreefile).

For the 2015 tax year, the credit was claimed on about 26 million returns, totaling about $65.6 billion, according to the IRS.

-Double-check return information to ensure that all Social Security numbers and tax computations are correct, and that all names and Social Security numbers are in the same order as previous years.

In an effort to fight identity theft and fraud, the IRS is purposefully slowing the refunds for anyone who claims the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. The hold, together with bank processing times and bank holidays, means that taxpayers should not count on seeing those tax refunds until the week of February 27.

"Note that the Additional Child Tax Credit is not a credit for additional children". The IRS says current ITINs will no longer be valid if they weren't used at least once in the last three years or if the number was issued before 2013.

However, a new report by an agency watchdog says stepped up screening by the IRS is also delaying legitimate refunds, forcing taxpayers to spend weeks or months proving their identity to the tax agency.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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