IRS Announces 4 Key Tax Season Dates

Man remembering to file taxes
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Tax filing season officially starts on Jan. 24, one of four key tax dates the IRS announced on Jan. 10.

On Jan. 24, the IRS will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax returns. So, if you are an early bird, you can submit your return in about two weeks.

Those who plan to file as soon as possible will be glad to know that the IRS Free File program will be open for business on Jan. 14. Free File lets taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2021 file their taxes electronically for free. Commercial tax filing software companies provide the software used with the service.

If you are a procrastinator, you will have a little extra time before your return is due this year. The deadline is April 18, three days later than usual. That is also the deadline for requesting an extension to file your tax return.

The IRS notes that it changed the deadline to April 18 this year because, by law, holidays in Washington, D.C., must impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. Since Friday, April 15, is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia, Tax Day is moved to Monday, April 18.

If you live in Massachusetts or Maine, you actually get one additional day — April 19 — until you have to file. That is because the Patriots’ Day holiday in those states falls on April 18.

Finally, if you request an extension, you will have until Oct. 17 to file your return. Requests for an extension automatically are granted if you file Form 4868. Just remember, though, that although you can get an extension to file, you must actually pay any tax due by April 18 or, if you live in Massachusetts or Maine, April 19.

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