Personal Finance

Federal income tax season is upon us, but don’t panic, you’ve got more time

Panicked tax filers will have a few extra days to file in 2017
Panicked tax filers will have a few extra days to file in 2017 Seattle Times

The 2017 individual federal income tax filing season opened Monday with the Internal Revenue Service projecting more than 153 million returns to be filed this year.

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

Historically, April 15 is the deadline to file returns, but the deadline was pushed to April 18 this year because the 15th falls on a weekend and Washington, D.C., celebrates Emancipation Day on April 17.

111 millionThe number of individual tax refunds the IRS issued last year

The IRS said it issued 111 million individual tax refunds last year and expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to receive a refund in 2017. More than 80 percent of returns are expected to be filed electronically.

There are various new filing provisions effective this year, including a new law requiring the IRS to hold refunds claiming the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit until Feb. 15.

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, or PATH Act, gives the IRS more time to help detect and prevent tax fraud. The IRS will begin releasing EITC and ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15, but refunds likely will not start arriving in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27, due to the three-day Presidents’ Day holiday weekend of Feb. 18-20.

The April deadline was pushed to April 18 this year because the 15th falls on a weekend and Washington, D.C., celebrates Emancipation Day on April 17.

More information on federal tax return filing and services – including the IRS Free File for those with annual incomes of $64,000 or less – can be found at IRS.gov.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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