The 2016 tax season begins on January 19, 2016. The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns that day. The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016 – rather than the traditional April 15 date. Although the IRS begins accepting returns on January 19, many tax software companies will begin accepting tax returns earlier in January and submit them to the IRS when processing is open. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you file your 2015 taxes.
Have year-end statements gathered.
This includes W-2 forms from employers, 1099 forms from banks and other payers, and 1095-A forms from the Marketplace for those claiming premium tax credit. If you need to verify tax deductions and credits, you will need to include receipts as well. Keep all these tax-related documents in a folder for easy access when you’re ready to file.
Choose e-file and direct deposit for refunds.
E-filing is the quickest and safest way to file income taxes and receive a refund. If you made less than $60,000 you can file your taxes for free with Free File from the IRS.
Beware of Tax Fraud.
Tax fraud occurs when someone steals your identity and files a fraudulent tax return in your name before you do and collects a refund from the IRS. The sooner you file your taxes, the less time criminals have to steal your tax return.
Make sure when you file your return online, your security software is on and updated and you use strong passwords. Use caution with emails that ask you to click links to download attachments from organizations such as your bank, credit card company, and the IRS to avoid phishing scams. Now is also a great time to get a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Check your Refund Status.
24 hours after the IRS has received your e-filed tax return, you can check the status of your refund online at www.irs.gov/Refunds. If you’ve mailed a paper return, you will be able to check the status of your refund online after 4 weeks.
For more information on filing your 2015 taxes, please consult your tax professional and visit www.irs.gov.