If you are anticipating a tax refund, it makes sense that you are hoping to file taxes as early as possible. Although you can begin e-filing in the first week of January with many software companies, the official date the Internal Revenue Service has announced it will accept 2018 returns is January 29, 2019. This is nearly a week later than last year. There are certain situations in which you shouldn’t rush to file taxes, however.
Under new laws, if you are filing the earned income tax credit and/or the additional child tax credit, the earliest the IRS will accept your return is mid-February. That means you shouldn’t expect a refund until the latter part of February.
Whether you’ll be able to file taxes in January is largely dependent on being able to get your end-of-year tax statements. Companies have until the end of the month send out W2s and 1099s. Brokerage firms can often take much longer because of the complexities of the investment industry. In fact, it is not uncommon for a brokerage firm to send out a corrected tax form as late as March. If you have investments in a brokerage firm, it is often advisable to delay the date you file taxes to avoid needing to file an amended return later.
Another reason why you may want to delay filing taxes until after January is if you plan to contribute to your traditional IRA but haven’t done so yet. You have up to the date you file, not including extensions, so no later than April 17, 2019, to make your IRA contribution.
If you have additional questions about whether you can or should file taxes in January, don’t hesitate to contact us at Cathy E. Parker, E.A. Bookkeeping & Tax Service. We can help you file taxes with confidence that you are keeping within regulations and taking advantage of every deduction and credit possible. If your 2019 goals include a smooth tax filing, call on us to support you.