Personal Finance

Amid changes, federal income tax filing season opens Jan. 29

The 2018 individual federal income tax filing season will open Jan. 29 with the Internal Revenue Service projecting more than 155 million individual returns to be filed this year.

Taxpayers have until April 17 to file their 2017 tax returns and pay any tax due.

Historically, April 15 is the deadline to file returns, but the deadline was pushed to April 17 this year because the 15th falls on a Sunday and Washington, D.C., observes Emancipation Day as a legal holiday on April 16.

The IRS also warned taxpayers claiming certain tax credits that refunds will not be available until late February.

Federal officials said that while the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns Jan. 29, paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February as system updates continue in the aftermath of the recently approved federal tax bill.

The IRS “strongly encourages” people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds.

The tax agency also noted that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. The IRS said it expects the earliest EITC/ACTC-related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

The agency said it expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds within less than 21 days of filing.

More information on federal tax return filing and services – including the IRS Free File for individuals and families with annual incomes of $66,000 or less –can be found at

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover