Tax season is the time period, generally between Jan. 1 and April 15 of each year, when individual taxpayers traditionally prepare financial statements and reports for the previous year and submit their tax returns. In the United States, individuals typically must file their annual tax return by April 15 of the year following the reportable earnings. Tax returns submitted after the end of tax season are subject to late penalty fees and interest charges.
Even though many taxpayers file their tax returns on or by about April 15 every year, there is no need to put it off until the last minute. Indeed, filing an early tax return can make sense for a variety of reasons.
In 2019, despite the government shutdown and changes in the tax law following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS said it would begin processing tax returns beginning Jan. 28, 2019.4 Even if you don't file early, there are reasons to begin preparation as soon as you can.
Starting your filing process early gives you the time you need to collect the evidence you need to claim all of your deductions. You will avoid the headache of the middle of the night stress over figures and receipts. Your accountant will have a more flexible schedule and will probably be able to start working on your accounts immediately. Also, by filing early you will short circuit would-be identity thieves.