As the clock strikes midnight, Americans celebrate and scream “Happy New Year!”, but many of those same people wake up the next morning with the realization that January 1st means tax season is rapidly approaching. Tax filing season officially starts on January 23rd, and while there is ample time before the April 18th deadline, early preparation is essential. April 18th may sound unfamiliar to the standard April 15th tax day. This year, April 15th falls on a Saturday and since Emancipation Day is on April 17th, the tax deadline is April 18, 2017 this year.
John Koskinen, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner, sheds light on some important factors for taxpayers this year regarding changes in laws and a delay in receiving refunds. According to Koskinen, “There are a number of important changes this year involving refunds and tax law changes that we encourage people to keep in mind.” He continued, “We encourage taxpayers to plan ahead and take a few minutes to review these changes. As we enter the filing season, taxpayers should know that the dedicated workforce of the IRS and the nation’s tax community stand ready to help.”
Estimates say that delayed refunds will affect around 10 percent of taxpayers. In addition, electronic filing is an option to all, regardless of income. Finally, identity theft remains a concern, as refunds and data are all subject to theft. Unfortunately, Florida is highly susceptible to tax return fraud. To protect yourself from identity theft, the IRS has created the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) for any and all taxpayers who have filed federal tax returns as a Florida resident last year. As such, a 6-digit number is used as a way to confirm your identity as well as making it far more difficult for identity thieves to attain a fraudulent refund. Florida residents can visit this IRS page to receive an IP PIN.
For many taxpayers, hiring an accountant or accounting firm to handle tax preparation is most effective way to go. From organizing documents to considering filing status, calling upon the expertise of an accounting firm often saves taxpayers money in the long run. Get an early start on your tax preparation to alleviate potential stress leading up to April 18th. For more information, please contact our office at your earliest convenience.