2017 tax-filing season approaching fast

Christmas is still a couple of weeks away, with plenty of presents not yet purchased, much less placed under the tree or chimney with care.

But if Christmas is coming, it also means a new year and a new tax-filing season are approaching fast. This week, the IRS announced details about the opening of the 2017 filing season.

In this post, we will use a Q & A format to update you on that announcement and take note of ways you can prepare.

When does the 2017 filing season open?

Monday, January 23. That's when the IRS will start accepting electronically-filed returns.

Can you file before that date on paper?

You can, but the IRS will not begin processing any returns until January 23. That includes both e-filed returns and paper returns.

Does the filing deadline fall on April 15 in 2017?

In 2017, the deadline falls on April 18. This is for two reasons. The first is that April 15 falls on a Saturday, not a weekday. And second, the first weekday after that is April 17, which is a legal holiday called Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia.

What are some of the things you can do to plan ahead?

One key step is to get your income statements in hand. If you had only one employer, that seems straightforward enough. But if you had income from multiple sources, it's important to include all of your W-2s or 1099s.

It's also important to be aware of common errors that can occur, such as choosing the wrong filing status or making a mistake when calculating a deduction.

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