IRS Announces Start of 2024 Tax Season, Promises Improved Services and New Tools

IRS 1040 Form© LPETTET / Getty Images Signature / Canva

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mark your calendars, taxpayers. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set the date for the official start of the nation’s 2024 tax season. Beginning Monday, January 29, 2024, the IRS will start accepting and processing 2023 tax returns. With an expected 128.7 million individual tax returns to be filed by the April 15 deadline, the agency is gearing up for a busy season.

But why does this matter to you?

For starters, if you’re using software companies or tax professionals, you don’t have to wait until January 29 to begin working on your taxes. These entities typically accept electronic submissions and hold them until the IRS starts processing later in the month.

In addition, starting January 12, taxpayers can access IRS Free File on the IRS website ahead of the filing season opening. Another tool, the IRS Direct File pilot, will be rolled out in phases once final testing is completed. By mid-March, it’s expected to be widely available to eligible taxpayers in participating states.

These tools and resources are part of the IRS’s ongoing transformation work, aimed at improving services for taxpayers. Following the successful 2023 tax season and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the 2024 filing season promises further enhancements.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel assures that the ongoing transformation efforts will result in noticeable improvements in IRS operations during the upcoming filing season. The focus remains on making the process of preparing and filing taxes easier for taxpayers.

So what’s new and improved for 2024?

The IRS is expanding in-person services by opening or reopening Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) and offering extended hours at many TACs nationwide. They are also ramping up help available on the toll-free line and expanding a customer call back feature to reduce wait times significantly.

READ:  Be Careful When Naming Beneficiaries

Improvements are also coming to the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool, the IRS’s most widely used taxpayer service tool. Updates will allow taxpayers to see more detailed refund status messages in plain language and ensure the tool works seamlessly on mobile devices.

The IRS is also enhancing paperless processing, enabling taxpayers to submit all correspondence, non-tax forms, and responses to notices digitally. This milestone will enable up to 125 million paper documents to be submitted digitally per year.

An enhanced IRS Individual Online Account will include chat, the option to schedule and cancel future payments, revise payment plans, and validate and save bank accounts.

Lastly, a new pilot tax filing service called Direct File will give eligible taxpayers a new choice to file their 2023 federal tax returns online, for free, directly with the IRS.

In sum, the start of the 2024 tax season signals not just the onset of tax filings but also the promise of improved services, new tools, and resources from the IRS. These enhancements aim to simplify the tax filing process, making it more efficient and less stressful for millions of taxpayers across the country.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.