Tax return filing in 2019: January 28 is the first day to file!

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IRS tax form 1040 EZ
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It’s official: Tax season will begin Monday, January 28 this year. That’s the first day the Internal Revenue Service will start accepting tax returns and issuing refunds.

RELATED: Refund reversal: White House official says tax refunds will arrive as scheduled

IRS sets January 28 date to start accepting tax returns in 2019

Every year it comes like clockwork during the final week of January: The IRS begins accepting tax returns and providing refunds to taxpayers who over-withheld during the prior year.

This year, that date is going to be the 28th of January, so mark your calendar.

Actually, there’s no need to wait until the 28th if you already have all the documentation you need to file an accurate return.

Virtually all software companies and tax professionals will accept and prepare tax returns before that date. Then, they’ll auto-file them for you when the system opens on that Monday.

Don’t fret: Timely refunds will be sent out this year!

Thankfully, the announcement of the official start to tax season comes with it additional confirmation that you will be getting your refund in a timely manner this year.

“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

It’s helpful to remember that most refunds are sent out less than 21 calendar days after a tax return is received by the IRS.

Meeting that timeline might be something of a challenge this year with no end to partial government shutdown in sight and reduced employee headcount. So, the IRS will recall a “significant portion” of its furloughed workforce to the office, Rettig says.

That said, if you’re somebody who usually puts off filing until the April 15 deadline, why not play it safe and do it sooner rather than later this year?

Here’s another reason to file early: Tax return identity theft has emerged as a big problem. That’s when someone steals your Social Security number and files a false return as if they were you. Unfortunately, the IRS will reject your return as the impostor as when you go to legitimately file.

Don’t let this happen to you; file your tax return as soon as possible!

Free tax return prep help is available for those over 50

Meanwhile, if you want free help preparing your tax return, you might consider checking out the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation for anyone who is 50 or older — no AARP membership required!

More than 5,000 neighborhood locations in places like libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers will offer the free help.

When the annual program launches again in the coming days, you can find a location near you here.

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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