When Can You Start Filing Taxes? Key Dates and Deadlines Explained

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Tax season can be a stressful time for many people, but understanding the key dates and deadlines can help make the process smoother. Here is a breakdown of when you can start filing taxes and important deadlines to keep in mind.

Important Dates to Know

Here are some important tax-related dates to keep in mind:

  • January 27, 2020: The IRS began accepting tax returns on this date last year.
  • July 15, 2020: This is the deadline for filing federal income tax returns and paying any taxes owed for the 2019 tax year. Taxpayers who need more time to file can request an extension until October 15, but they still must pay any estimated taxes by July 15.
  • October 15, 2020: This is the final deadline for taxpayers who requested an extension to file their federal income tax return.

Factors Affecting When You Can File

The opening date for individual taxpayers to submit their federal income tax returns typically falls in late January or early February each year. However, there are several factors that could impact when you’re able to file your taxes:

  • Updating forms and instructions: The IRS periodically updates its forms and instructional information based on new legislation or changes in regulations. As a result, sometimes it takes longer than expected to finalize everything needed before accepting filings.
  • Government shutdowns: In case of government shutdowns like happened last year which lasted from December all through till mid-January may delay processing of filed paperwork as well as online submissions.
    Coronavirus pandemic – Due delaying revenue collection has been one way governments have mitigated against Covid’s economic effects causing delays among other procedures

E-filing offers taxpayers quicker refunds due tech advancements where security breaches among cybercriminals remains rampant at times.

Tips For Filing Your Taxes On Time

Timeliness is key when filing taxes. Here are some tips to help you file on time and minimize any penalties or interest:

  • Be organized: Gather all the necessary documents needed to complete your tax return, such as income statements (W2), investment income reports (1099s), mortgage payments, property tax receipts)
  • Use electronic financial tools available online– Such systems could include e-file options for quick submission of returns as well as tracking refund statuses in real-time.
  • Watch out for important dates mentioned earlier and ensure that information provided is correct


Understanding key tax-related dates can be a critical part in managing this potentially stressful process. With proper planning, organization and knowledge of available resources – you can make it easier to meet deadlines while minimizing exposure to additional fees or penalties.

Remember any questions you may have related to taxes are better off answered by certified public accountants with experience handling similar cases.


Q: When can I start filing my taxes for the current year?
A: Typically, taxpayers can begin filing their federal income tax returns in late January or early February of the year following the tax year (i.e., usually from January 20th). However, this date may vary depending on when the IRS begins accepting tax returns.

Q: What is the deadline for filing my taxes each year?
A: The deadline for most individual taxpayers to file their federal income tax returns is April 15th of each year (unless that date falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case it would be extended). However, some states may have different deadlines and it’s important to check with your local state revenue department.

Q: If I need more time to file my taxes, what should I do?
A: If you cannot file your federal income tax return by the April 15th deadline but still want to avoid penalties and interest charges, you will need to request an extension by filling out Form 4868. This will give you an additional six months beyond the original due date (until October 15th) to submit your return. Note that while this extends time for filing paperwork only but not paying any owed amounts so if you owe any money then it should be paid until April 15th irrespective of whether they are able to complete all paperwork or not till that date.