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Revenue department encourages e-filing as tax season opens

24 January 2017

Tax season will close April 18, 2017.

About 6.5 million taxpayers paid penalties in tax year 2015 because they didn't have health insurance, about 20 percent lower than the previous year, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a letter to Congress.

Previously, wage forms had to be sent to taxpayers by January 31 and to the Social Security Administration a month or two later, depending on whether they were being filed by paper or electronically.

Some of these changes will be invisible (or almost invisible) to taxpayers but will help the IRS, states and the tax industry provide new protections for taxpayers.

If you owe money, you can include your banking information and can pay electronically. But even with that, you won't be able to avoid interest on payments made after the deadline. The good news for procrastinators - you have until Monday, April 18th to file your taxes. These tax breaks are geared to benefit the working poor, and many families claim both. "That's really what a lot of the tax ID thieves do - they file a tax return very quickly, claim a bogus refund under your name, and then when you go to file your legitimate tax return before the tax deadline, it gets rejected". "The electronic filing PIN is no longer an option".

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The affected refunds will start being released on February 15 but they may not arrive in bank accounts until the week of February 27, as it will take more time for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds.

The agency's NYC Free Tax Prep program invites New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less previous year to seek free tax assistance in person at more than 200 sites around the city or through its website.

The IRS continues to see an increase in taxpayers requesting direct deposit for their refunds. A 2016 law requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the EITC and the ACTC until February 15 to safeguard against identity theft. The department can not prepare individual income tax returns.

H&R Block's website also offers free access to tools like tax and W-4 calculators to compute your refund, and explanatory articles and FAQ pages on subjects such as tax credits and audits.

The delayed refunds are part of a broader effort by the IRS to fight identity theft and fraud on refunds, which has mushroomed into a multibillion industry.

Revenue department encourages e-filing as tax season opens