Tax season begins Jan 29, but since April 15 falls on a Sunday and the following Monday is a legal holiday in the District of Colombia (Emancipation Day), the filing deadline is Tuesday, April 17, 2018, rather than the usual April 15. If you filed before the official start of the season, you should note that this doesn’t mean your return will be processed early, as the IRS officially doesn’t begin accepting returns until the beginning of the season and won’t begin processing returns until later in February.
When can I expect my refund?
Those who e-file their returns and use direct deposit can expect to get their refunds as early as Feb. 27 or within 21 days of filing, depending on when you file. Those who mail their traditional return should receive their refund within six weeks of filing. It’s worth noting that the IRS has started taking more time to process returns in order to combat tax identity theft, a growing problem that will be worse this year because of the Equifax breach. As such, it’s possible that many refunds might take a bit longer to process — remember you can track your refund on the IRS’ website. To add to this, filers claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit should also expect their returns to take extra time to process. Also, keep in mind that this tax season is a bit shorter than last year’s, which started on Jan. 23, 2017 and ended on April 18, 2017, so taxpayers should plan accordingly.
Does the new tax bill impact my 2017 tax return?
Something else to be aware of is although the Trump Administration has made changes to the tax code via the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, those changes didn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2018, meaning that they’ll only apply to income taxed from that date forward. In other words, you don’t need to take into account these tax code changes until next tax season, as your 2017 income will not be subject to these new rules.
Will a government shutdown impact my tax return?
Finally, while the president signed a funding bill to resume normal government operations on Jan. 22, the underlying issues causing the government shutdown haven’t been resolved. What’s more, the bill that was signed is only a three-week bill, meaning it’s conceivable that another shutdown could be on the horizon in February. A shutdown could, unfortunately, impact the IRS’ operations in a major way. While returns would still be accepted during a shutdown, the issuing of refunds and other types of support might become unavailable, giving you another reason to file your return sooner rather than later.