When does the IRS accept returns 2024? Check the refund timeline!

The IRS will begin accepting e-filed returns as early as January 18, 2024, marking the official start of the filing season. You can potentially receive your refund within 21 days if you choose e-filing with direct deposit for EITC and ACTC credits. 

When does the IRS accept returns 2024?

Mark your calendars, because the IRS will officially begin accepting electronically filed (e-filed) returns for your 2023 income as early as January 18, 2024. That’s right, no more waiting until February or March – you can get a head start on maximizing your refund timeline.

For those choosing e-filing and opting for direct deposit, the IRS expects most Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) related refunds to land in your bank accounts or on your debit cards as early as 21 days after filing. 

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IRS Return 2024 Important Dates

  • January 18, 2024 (estimated): IRS begins accepting e-filed 2023 tax returns.
  • IRS expects most EITC and ACTC related refunds to be available in bank accounts or on your debit cards as early as 21 days after e-filing your returns.
  • April 15, 2024: Deadline to file your 2023 tax return or request an extension.
  • October 15, 2024: Extended deadline to file your 2023 tax return.

Therefore, the actual date you receive your refund will depend on several factors:

  • Filing method: E-filed returns are typically processed faster than paper returns, with refunds often issued within 2-3 weeks of acceptance. Paper returns can take 6-8 weeks or longer.
  • The complexity of your return: Simple returns with no errors or missing information are processed faster than complex returns with deductions, credits, or self-employment income.
  • Verification: The IRS may need to verify your identity or income before issuing your refund, which can delay the process.

IRS Return 2024 Filing Options 

There are two ways in which individuals can file their IRS return:

  • E-filing: The IRS strongly encourages e-filing as it is the fastest and most accurate way to file your return. Most major tax software programs and online tax preparation services will allow you to e-file starting on the official start date.
  • Paper filing: While e-filing is preferred, you can also choose to file your return by mail. However, the IRS will not begin processing paper returns until mid-February.

When does the IRS accept returns

How to File an IRS Return?

  • Collect all your income statements (W-2s, 1099s), receipts for deductions and credits,dependent information (if applicable), and previous year’s tax return (for reference).
  • E-filing is fastest and preferred by the IRS. You can use tax software, online services, or IRS Free File for eligible individuals. Paper filing is an option, but expect longer processing times.
  • Determine your filing status (single, married filing jointly, etc.) based on your marital status and dependents.
  • Enter all your taxable income sources and eligible deductions (mortgage interest, student loan interest, medical expenses, etc.).
  • Identify and claim any applicable tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit.
  • Electronically file through your chosen software or service, or mail your paper return to the IRS.

How to track your IRS return?

There are two main ways to track your IRS return:

IRS “Where’s My Refund?” Tool:

  • This online tool is the official and fastest way to check the status of your e-filed return.
  • How to use it:
    • Visit https://www.irs.gov/refunds.
    • Enter your Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount (rounded to whole dollars).
    • Click “Get Refund Status.”
    • The tool will display the current status of your return and estimated refund date, if applicable.

IRS Tax Account:

  • This secure online portal allows you to view detailed information about your tax account, including past returns, transcripts, and payments.
  • How to use it:
    • Create an account at https://www.irs.gov/payments/your-online-account.
    • You will need your Social Security number, filing status, and address to verify your identity.
    • Once logged in, navigate to the “Tax Records” section to view your return information.

What if you do not receive your return within 3 weeks?

Contact the IRS:

  • If the “Where’s My Refund?” tool shows no update after 21 days for e-filed returns or 6-8 weeks for paper returns, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Be prepared with your Social Security number, filing status, and refund amount.

Gather additional documents:

  • If the IRS requests further information, gather any necessary documents to support your claim (proof of income, receipts for deductions, etc.).

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