The IRS says the busiest day of tax season is right around the corner, and there's a simple way to beat the rush
- Tax Day 2019, the last day to file your 2018 tax return, is Monday, April 15.
- The IRS began accepting tax returns on January 28 and taxpayers should have received all the forms they need in order to file by now.
- The IRS says the busiest day of the tax season will be Tuesday, February 19, the day after Presidents Day Weekend.
- E-filing ASAP and choosing direct deposit for your tax refund is the best way to "minimize errors and speed up refunds," the IRS says.
Believe it or not, the busiest day of tax season isn't April 15, the day taxes are due. According to the IRS, tax season will reach a fever pitch during the upcoming three-day weekend.
"Taxpayers who call the IRS before and after Presidents Day weekend should be prepared for long wait times because of the high volume of calls received on all toll-free lines," the IRS said in a news release. "Tuesday, Feb. 19, will be the busiest day of the year."
The IRS started accepting tax returns on Monday, January 28. By now, you should have received a W-2 form - or a 1099 form if you're a freelancer - from every employer you had in 2018.
This is the first tax season under the new tax law that President Donald Trump enacted in late 2017, which was the most significant overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years. Still, the IRS said the filing process should be "seamless" for the 90% of American taxpayers who use tax software to file electronically - the method recommended by the IRS, as opposed to filing with pen-and-paper.
E-filing and choosing direct deposit for your refund is the best way to "minimize errors and speed up refunds," the IRS says. Once you submit your tax return, you should see your refund in your bank account within 21 days.
The IRS expects more than 150 million individual tax returns to be filed this year. Despite a lapse in funding and a reduced workforce caused by the 35-day government shutdown that ended just before the official start of tax season, the IRS said it would process returns and pay out refunds on time.
According to IRS data, the total number of returns received as of February 1 was down 12.4% from the same time last year and the total number of returns processed was down 25.8%. Meanwhile, the average refund size is down about 8%.
Although President Trump reopened the government for three weeks to end the record 35-day partial shutdown, those funds are set to run out on February 16. Business Insider's Sinead Baker reported another shutdown could be looming.
"A lead Republican negotiator on the committee aiming to avoid another government shutdown said there is a '50-50' chance that an agreement to keep the government open would be reached before the deadline," Baker reported.
For most of the 35-day shutdown, the IRS was operating with about 8% of its workforce. Just under a week before the shutdown ended, the IRS called 46,000 employees back to work without pay. It's unclear whether the IRS would continue operations in the event of another government shutdown, now that tax season is underway.