The IRS’s 2024 Tax Season Start Date (for 2023 Tax Year Filing) Announced

The IRS’s announced 2024 season start date (for 2023 income tax return filing) will be Monday, January 29, 2024. In a few recent years, the tax start date was delayed a few weeks into February, with the complexities created by COVID and stimulus checks. This year, the start of tax season is moved back to January. I’ll detail what this means and more below.

What is the 2024 Tax Season Start Date?

The IRS tax season start is, by definition, the tax filing start date. It is the first day in a given tax season when the IRS begins to accept and process tax returns for the prior year. No returns will be processed sooner than this date, and the IRS says to allow 3+ weeks for refunds to be processed. For 2024, the tax season start date will be Monday, January 29, 2024.

tax season start date

Can you Submit a Tax Return Prior to the Tax Start Date?

You can technically complete your tax return prior to the tax season start date, however, your return will be held for processing (either by the IRS if you file directly or for e-file submission by the tax software company you file with) until the tax start date. In other words, your return cannot be processed prior to the official start date of tax season.

I would also not recommend filing your return prior to the IRS tax start date, as there could be a number of late changes to tax forms and tax software that could impact your return. Also, there is no benefit to filing sooner. Doing so will not hold a place in line for your return to be processed sooner.

What are the Important Dates this Tax Season?

I’ve compiled a list of all the important tax deadlines and dates for 2024. The main date of note is the tax deadline, which will be Monday, April 15, 2024. If you would like to extend that deadline, you can file an extension with the IRS (which gets you an extra 6 months to file). Not this year. The HSA contribution deadline and IRA contribution deadline for last year’s contributions fall on the same date as well. The estimated tax payment deadlines are as follows:

Quarter:Time Period:Estimated Tax Payment Deadlines (2024):
Q4, 2023September 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023January 16, 2024
Q1, 2024January 1, 2024 - March 31, 2024April 15, 2024
Q2, 2024April 1, 2024 - May 31, 2024June 17, 2024
Q3, 2024June 1, 2024 - August 31, 2024September 16, 2024
Q4, 2024September 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024January 15, 2025

A Note for Those Claiming the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit

Those who claim either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) may see a refund delay due to rule changes from the PATH Act. Under the PATH Act, the IRS is not able to issue a refund involving the EITC or ACTC before mid-February. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds and claims from being issued, including to identity thieves. The IRS anticipates a first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.

Where can you Start Filing Taxes?

You can start filing your return with tax software companies or directly with the IRS at any time, including right now. I will soon be revising my lists of the best tax prep software and best & cheapest ways to e-file. A few of my favorites over the years (with notable exclusive discounts from affiliate partnerships) include:

  • H&R Block: 20% partner discount at link
  • TurboTax: best partner discount at link
  • TaxSlayer: 15% partner discount at link
  • TaxAct: $25 or $35 partner discount at link

IRS Free File, if you meet all of the income and other eligibility requirements, opens January 12.

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