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February 1, 2024

Answers to Your Tax Season Questions

Ready or not—the 2024 tax season is officially open! The IRS is now accepting and processing 2023 income tax returns

Just as in years prior, we’re receiving an abundance of questions about this tax season. Let’s take a look at seven of the most relevant ones. 

1. What are the 2024 tax season deadlines?

For most taxpayers, returns and extensions must be filed by Monday, April 15, 2024.

However, Massachusetts and Maine state holidays will earn some taxpayers an extra two days. You may also be granted additional time to file if you live in a federally declared disaster area.

2. If I request an extension, when is my return due?

Taxpayers who request an extension must file before October 15, 2024.

Of course, it’s important to note that you will still need to pay any taxes owed before April 15. If not, you could face penalties. 

3. When’s the best time to file?

Filing for an extension or waiting until the last minute can be tempting, but filing early has its benefits. Namely, filing your return early in the tax season offers some protection against tax identity theft. 

4.  How does early filing help protect me from tax identity theft? 

When a thief uses another person’s sensitive information to file a fake tax return and claims a fraudulent refund, we call this tax identity theft.

Oftentimes, taxpayers only discover these scams once it comes time to file their return, and the IRS informs them their return is being rejected since a tax return with the same social security number has already been filed for the year. 

Proving which return is valid and which one is the fraud can be a frustrating, time-consuming process. It may also delay your refund.

If you file early, however, the IRS will reject fraudulent returns filed after your return.

5. Why else should I try to file my return early? 

If you want your refund as soon as possible, filing early can help.

In fact, the IRS asserts that “most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days.” If you choose to file electronically and elect to receive your refund via direct deposit, your wait could be shorter.

As an added benefit, receiving a refund via direct deposit eliminates the odds that your refund check could be caught in a mail delay or returned to the IRS as undeliverable, stolen, or lost.  

6. When should I expect to receive my W-2s and 1099s?

Before you can file your tax return, you’ll need all of your Forms 1099 and W-2.

January 31, 2024, is the deadline for employers to file 2023 W-2s and, generally, for businesses to file Form 1099s for recipients of any 2023 interest, dividends, or reportable miscellaneous income payments (including those made to independent contractors).

If early February arrives and you still haven’t received a W-2 or 1099, contact the entity that should have issued it. If that doesn’t work, contact your accountant. 

7. When should I contact Smolin to prepare my return?

An accurate, timely return is crucial to ensure you avoid penalties and receive all of the tax breaks you're entitled to. Make sure you contact us as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. 

Questions? Smolin can help.

If you still have questions about the 2024 tax season, you’re not alone. Reach out to the friendly accountants at Smolin for more personalized tax advice.

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