The Internal Revenue Service opened the 2012 tax filing season by announcing that taxpayers have until April 17 to file their tax returns.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file as it is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.
Taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17 to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday, April 16. According to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 15 to file their 2011 tax returns.
The IRS expects to receive more than 144 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 17 deadline.
The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on Jan. 17, 2012. Additional details about e-file and Free File will be announced later this month. IRS Free File provides options for free tax software or online fillable forms plus free electronic filing. Everyone can use Free File to prepare a federal tax return. Taxpayers who make $57,000 or less can choose from approximately 20 commercial software providers. There’s no income limit for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, which also includes free e-filing.
The IRS also reminds paid tax return preparers they must have and include a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) on all returns they prepare. All PTINs must be renewed for 2012. Tax return preparers can obtain or renew PTINs online