The Internal Revenue Service announced Jan. 29 as the official start date to tax season, but early filers don’t have to wait that long.

NEW YORK — The Internal Revenue Service on Monday decreed Jan. 29 as the official start of tax season, though eager filers won’t have to wait that long.

Anyone using software companies or tax professionals can file before that date to get the ordeal out of their hair, and the company or preparer will hold onto it until the IRS officially accepts them at the end of the month.

For people doing their own taxes, IRS Free File will also be available at starting Jan. 12. In terms of innovations, an IRS pilot program, IRS Direct File, is undergoing final testing and will be available to eligible taxpayers come March, the agency said.

Overall, the IRS this year is aiming to provide a more streamlined version of the process thanks to a massive overhaul to tech and customer service made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in August 2022.

For instance, there will be more in-person, walk-in Taxpayer Assistance Centers, and those offices will expand their hours. Phone assistance will be available via a toll-free line, with wait times “significantly” reduced via an expanded customer callback feature, the IRS said.

Those who’ve filed and are in show-me-the-money mode will see improvements to the “Where’s My Refund?” tool that will provide more detailed refund status messages and work with mobile devices.

The tax season begins after congressional leaders recently announced a budget deal with steep cuts to the IRS.

“As our transformation efforts take hold, taxpayers will continue to see marked improvement in IRS operations in the upcoming filing season,” IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement. “IRS employees are working hard to make sure that new funding is used to help taxpayers by making the process of preparing and filing taxes easier.”

With News Wire Services

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Author: amyc