The Internal Revenue Service opened the 2011 tax filing season Jan. 4 by announcing that taxpayers have until April 18 to file their tax returns.
The IRS reminded taxpayers impacted by recent tax law changes that using e-file is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.
Taxpayers will have until Monday, April 18, to file their 2010 tax returns and pay any tax due because Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Friday, April 15.
By law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have three extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their 2010 tax returns.
The IRS expects to receive more than 140 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 18 deadline.
IRS officials also cautioned taxpayers with foreign accounts to properly report income from these accounts and file the appropriate forms on time to avoid stiff penalties.
“The IRS has made important strides at stopping tax avoidance using offshore accounts,” said revenue service commissioner Doug Shulman. “We continue to focus on offshore tax compliance and people with offshore accounts need to pay taxes on income from those accounts.”
The IRS also reminded tax professionals preparing returns for a fee that this is the first year that they must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Tax return preparers should register immediately using the new sign-up system available through www.IRS.gov/taxpros.
For most taxpayers, the 2011 tax filing season starts on schedule. However, tax law changes enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama in December mean some people need to wait until mid- to late February to file their tax returns in order to give the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems.