In a Hurry To File This Year?

If you’re among the eager taxpayers who just can’t wait to send in their tax returns – and, probably, collect their refunds — Jan. 29 is the opener. That’s when the Internal Revenue Service says it will start accepting an estimated 155 million returns for 2017 from individual taxpayers.

But many businesses already can send in their 2017 tax forms, although that is not very well known. The IRS began accepting electronic filings from corporations, partnerships, trusts, non-profit organizations, etc., on Jan. 8, 2018, says Drake Software, maker of professional tax preparation software, in an announcement.

Of course, there may be some practical limitations to slow down those early business filings. For example, companies might have to wait for year-end bank statements to close their books and figure 2017 taxes. EricJohn Ltd. owner Eric Buechler says his target date for filing returns from current business clients generally is Feb. 1.

Back to individual taxpayers. If they speed along their returns by filing online, the IRS expects most will have refunds within three weeks of hitting the “send” button. However, there is one big exception. As with last year, the IRS notes that it is not allowed by law to pay out refunds from returns claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit until mid-February.

Here’s the most-watched date for the 2018 season. This year’s tax deadline is April 17. That’s when income taxes and returns from individual taxpayers are due. So, as in past years, those millions of taxpayers will have an extra two days beyond April 15 to put the finishing touches on their 2017 returns or to ask for a six-month delay to file with IRS.

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