We’re pretty familiar with the tax deadline on April 15. However, the first day to file taxes each year often depends on what Congress has done recently with any new laws that were implemented.

This year, there’s a new twist to tax filing season, the government shutdown that took place last fall.

When is the Earliest You Can File Taxes?

The IRS announced the first day to file 2013 year taxes in 2014 will be on January 31, 2014.

Why is there a delay?

Originally, the earliest you can file your taxes was set for January 21. The government shutdown forced an IRS Tax Delay for 2014.

Will the tax deadline be extended?

No. A delay to the start of tax season does not lengthen the tax filing season; the tax deadline will still be April 15, 2014. You can request a tax extension if you need additional time to file.

When is the earliest I can file my taxes by paper?

If you file your taxes on paper, can you file before the first day? No. Tax returns, including paper returns, will not be processed before January 31. E-filing will still be the faster option to get your tax refund.

Why Would You Want to File Your Taxes Early?

If you are expecting a tax refund the sooner you file the sooner you’ll get your refund. You can use our 2013 Tax Calculator to project your tax refund.

Also, if you need your completed tax return to show your income for other financial decisions, you’ll be able to complete those transactions sooner. This is usually necessary for financial aid applications for college students or mortgage applications if you are self employed.

Why you might need to know the first day to file taxes.

If you are feuding with an ex-spouse over dependents, be prepared that he or she may plan to file the first day to try to claim dependents.

You should be aware that the first to file a tax return will be able to claim dependents. If you are entitled to claim a dependent, and someone else files first claiming them, when you file using the same SSN you’ll get an error message. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to claim them, but be prepared with documentation to prove you are the correct person to claim the dependent and your tax filing status.

Filing Your Taxes Early

What do you need to file on the first day?

Even if you want to file on the first day, you must have your paperwork, including your W2 Form from your employer before you can file. If you don’t receive your W2, you can file a substitute W2 using Form 4852, but only after February 14.

Can you enter your information earlier?

Yes, many tax preparation programs, including TurboTax, will let you begin working on your tax return before the first day to file. You can enter your information, but you will not be able to file your tax return until the first day to file.

Will your tax refund be delayed?

The IRS has yet to announce the refund schedule for this year, so we don’t know yet if the delayed start date will delay refunds like it did last year. Normally, you can expect your tax refund in 21 days: How Long Does it Take to Get Your Tax Refund?

When do you plan to file your taxes?

More Tax Filing Questions



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