When Is Tax Season 2024? (Your Comprehensive Guide To Being Prepared This Year)

Oct 25, 2023 | Taxes

If you are wondering “When is tax season 2024?”, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.

We get it. No one enjoys filing their taxes, but at least knowing when things are due is a huge part of making the process as stress-free as possible.

Keep reading to learn when tax season starts, answers to some common questions, and how to get ready. 

Tax season doesn’t have to be painful. We’re here to help you prepare for tax return success this year!

When Is Tax Season 2024?

As of the time of posting this article, these are the deadlines for tax season 2024:

  • January 23 – The IRS will begin accepting tax returns.
  • January 31 – Employers must have mailed W-2 forms to their workers.
  • April 15 – Federal tax returns and payments are due. This is also the last day to make 401(k) contributions or file for an extension.
  • October 15 – This is the late filing deadline for those who requested an extension.

If you are an independent contractor or self-employed individual, here are important dates you need to know for paying quarterly estimated taxes:

  • January 16 – Q4 (4th quarter) estimated taxes due for September 1 – December 31, 2023.
  • April 15 – Q1 estimated taxes due for January 1 – March 31, 2024
  • June 17 – Q2 estimated taxes due for April 1 – May 31, 2024
  • September 16 – Q3 estimated taxes due for June 1 – August 31, 2024

These are the important filing and extension dates for small business owners to keep in mind as well:

  • Sole Proprietor – April 15 (October 15 extension)
  • Partnership – March 15 (September 16 extension)
  • LLC (Multiple Owners) – March 15 (September 16 extension)
  • S-Corp – March 15 (September 16 extension)
  • C-Corp – April 15 (October 15 extension)

That’s a lot to keep up with! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. (And if there are changes to any of these dates, we’ll let you know.) Download our free 2024 Tax Calendar designed to help you easily stay on top of all the important deadlines.

The rest of this post will help you with some common questions and give you some good preparation tips that we’ve learned over the past 40 years, though. So keep reading!

(By the way, the IRS has also created a helpful page to get ready now to file 2023 federal income tax returns in early 2024.)

When Can You Start Filing Taxes?

The IRS will let you start filing taxes on January 23, 2024. Many self-employed individuals will have already had time to assemble all the necessary documents from 2023. Some employers will have sent out W-2s by then as well, so many employees can go ahead and file their returns.

Can You File State Taxes Without Filing Federal?

Generally, people who need to file state income tax returns will do so after also filing a federal one. Much of the information is the same on both returns, so once you have completed your federal return the state return is fairly straightforward.

For fortunate individuals living in these 9 U.S. states, there is no need to worry about any kind of state income tax at all:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

To help prevent fraud, the IRS does not allow you to e-file your state tax return before your federal return. But if you are mailing in paper forms, you can. Some people may choose this option if they are planning to use a refund from the state to pay a tax liability on their federal return. However, they will still need to provide information from their federal return in order to complete a state-level return. So there’s really no advantage to waiting other than possibly using one to pay the other.

What Is The Penalty For Filing Late Taxes?

The penalties for filing your taxes late can be substantial. Unless you have extremely extenuating circumstances, the IRS expects their filing deadlines to be met. 

“Failure to file” results in a penalty of 5% of all unpaid taxes for each month (or part of a month) that taxes are late. The IRS caps this fine at 25%, though.

A “failure to pay” fine is .5% on taxes owed after the due date. It accumulates each month, up to 25%. If the IRS has to issue a notice to seize property as a result of unpaid taxes, the fine increases to 1%. 

Additionally, you will be charged interest on any unpaid taxes.

It is worth noting that while it is possible to face jail time if convicted of tax evasion (underreporting income or refusing to file a return at all), the IRS does not pursue criminal charges against people who file late or are simply unable to pay on time.  

(For further reading, see this page from the IRS on collections procedural questions.)

Free Tax Filing Deadline 2023

Even though the IRS is the federal agency responsible for the collection of taxes, it isn’t set up to be the central place where people go to file their tax returns. At least, not fully.

Tax returns are often prepared by individuals using paper forms or through a third-party firm, like a local CPA or one of the many online companies specializing in tax filing.

However, the IRS does offer individuals who earn below a certain income the opportunity to file their taxes for free using specific software partners through the IRS Free File program.

The Free File Alliance, which partners with the IRS to provide this service, estimates that nearly 70% of taxpayers can take advantage of IRS Free File. If you made less than $73,000 in 2022, you should be able to file your 2023 return for free.

The IRS will begin accepting returns in January of 2024, and the Free File program is available through all of the regular filing dates we mentioned earlier (up to the extension deadline in October). 

What To Bring When Filing Taxes

Whenever you file your next tax return and however you choose to do it, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. It makes the entire process so much easier!

For several tips on what to bring when filing taxes, check out these links for further reading:

Let Us Help You Be Ready For Tax Season 2024

Whether you’re an individual, a small business person, or a nonprofit owner, we’re here for you.

No matter what your financial situation, our team of tax pros can help make preparing and filing your taxes smooth and successful. Avoid the stress and headaches that tax season can bring, and schedule a call with one of our experts today.

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