The IRS made two announcements yesterday about filing dates. One is that for Tax Year 2016, E-File closes this Saturday, November 18; after that, disaster victims and others need to file on paper.
While most individuals have already filed their 2016 federal tax returns, certain taxpayers may qualify for an extension until Jan. 31, 2018. This includes taxpayers who live in a federally declared disaster area, have a U.S. tax filing obligation, and had previously obtained a valid 6-month extension of time to file their federal tax return.
The second announcement is that the IRS has not yet set the date on which they will be accepting Tax Year 2017 returns.
Speculation on the Internet that the IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 22 or after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday in January is inaccurate and misleading; no such date has been set.
The IRS must keep an eye on pending legislation and extender tax provisions that may be renewed, and then finish updating programming and processing systems before they can announce a filing season start-date.
However, they also explain that:
Due to law changes first affecting last year’s returns, the IRS cannot issue refunds for tax returns claiming the EITC or ACTC before mid-February. This law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC. However, there is no need to wait to file such returns since the IRS will process them to the point of refund and then begin refund release when permitted by law.