Do you hear that? It's the rustle of tens of thousands of taxpayers sending in their 2014 tax returns.
That's what must have awoken me at the unusually early, for me, hour of 6:20 a.m.
That's OK. I understand the excitement. Tax filing season begins today, Jan. 20.
OK, maybe you're not as happy as this Zach Galifianakis character, but c'mon. It's tax season 2015!
Ready. Set. File. Wait: As I type, the Internal Revenue Service is now accepting both snail mailed paper tax forms and 1040s filed electronically.
Speaking of electronic taxes, folks eligible to use Free File got a bit of a head start. That IRS partnership with tax software manufacturers (14 this year) opened for business on Friday, Jan. 16.
More importantly, especially if you're expecting a refund (and that is why you're filing today, right?), the IRS also today begins processing tax returns.
And speaking of refunds, which most taxpayers get (or so they tell me; I wouldn't know), note that you might not get your tax cash back as quickly as in past years.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has been warning us for months that his cash-strapped agency just doesn't have the resources, either personnel or computer upgrades, to handle the expected 140 million returns it's expecting as quickly as the agency or us taxpayers would like.
That, unfortunately, could mean a miserable tax season for the IRS and taxpayers.
Daily Tax Tip help: The best thing we filers can do is fill out our tax returns completely and correctly. The Daily Tax Tips, courtesy of my (shameless plug alert) efforts as Bankrate.com's contributing tax editor, definitely can help here.
You'll find a new tip each weekday featured in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
Today's tip is, what else, the opening of the 2015 filing season. But since that's what this post is about and yesterday was the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday meaning many folks took a break from the Internet, too, I'm leaving the Monday, Jan. 19, filing status tip up for a while longer.
If you missed any of the previous tips that began appearing on Jan. 6, you can find them collected on this special January tax tips page. They will run, with special pages for each month, through April 15.
I hope the tax tips (and other blog posts) help. I also hope that Koskinen's dire filing season warnings don't come true.
Whatever happens, the ol' blog and I will be here to help you through your annual tax tasks and beyond.
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