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As the 2024 tax season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the official kick-off date for filing tax returns is January 29. This marks the day when the IRS will start accepting and processing 2023 tax returns for individual filers, allowing eager taxpayers to get an early start on their financial obligations.

One notable addition to this year’s tax season is the introduction of Direct File, a new government-run online tax filing platform. Positioned as a free alternative to popular sites like TurboTax and H&R Block, Direct File is set to launch as a pilot program in 13 states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas. The program is expected to roll out in phases, becoming widely available in mid-March, although some states have chosen to refrain from participating this year.

IRS Free File opens on January 12 for those looking to file early. Participating software companies will accept completed tax returns on this day and hold them until they can be electronically filed with the IRS at the end of the month. IRS Free File Guided Tax Software, exclusively available at, is open to any taxpayer or family with an adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less in 2023.

Individuals with an income of $60,000 or less, a qualifying disability, limited English skills, or 60 years of age or older may be eligible for full-service tax preparation through the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.

The IRS estimates that over 128.7 million individual tax returns will be filed by the April 15 deadline. Most refunds are expected to be issued in less than 21 days, with Earned Income Tax Credit refunds available starting February 27 and Additional Child Tax Credit refunds in mid-February. Where’s My Refund? should display an updated status by February 17 for early EITC/ACTC filers.

Key dates to remember for the 2024 tax filing season include:

  • January 12: IRS Free File opens.
  • January 16: Due date for 2023 fourth quarter estimated tax payments.
  • January 26: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day.
  • January 29: Filing season start date for individual tax returns.
  • April 15: Due date for filing a tax return or requesting an extension for most of the nation.
  • April 17: Due date for Maine and Massachusetts.
  • October 15: Due date for extension filers.

If you’re among those who pay quarterly taxes, be sure to note the following due dates:

  • January 1-March 31 pay period: April 15
  • April 1-May 31 pay period: June 15
  • June 1-August 31 pay period: September 15
  • September 1-December 31 pay period: January 15 of the following year

Stay informed, and prepare for a streamlined and exciting tax filing season 2024!

Source ( Nbcchicago News).