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The Daily

Off to the Races: Filing Season Started Jan. 19

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 19, 2016
irs-small-3It's that time of the year: today, January 19, marks the beginning of the filing season, according to the IRS, the official date that the service will now be accepting returns. This year, though, taxpayers will have some extra time: because the traditional April 15 deadline falls on Emancipation Day, a holiday in D.C., the service is moving the due date up to April 18, which is the following Monday. Meanwhile, taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until Tuesday, April 19 because of another holiday, Patriot's Day, on April 18 in those states. 

With the filing season's opening, the Treasury Department has warned taxpayers to be particularly on the lookout for scammers pretending to be from the IRS, leading the service to institute new security requirements this year that are intended to add further protection against theft of personal information. IRS scams over the past few years have grown both in numbers and sophistication, according to CBS News. They usually take the form of a phone call from someone who claims to be from the IRS who will say that the taxpayer needs to pay them right away or they will be arrested for tax fraud. Since 2013, roughly 900,000 people have been targeted by this scam, according to ABC News

The IRS warned that it will never initiate contact by telephone, and will always send a letter first. ABC News, however, said that the people running these scams are aware of this, and so have lately begun to say that they have been sending letters that were ignored, which is why they were calling instead. 

If you believe you or a client has been contacted by someone impersonating an IRS agent, go to this website to report it. 

New York state also began its filing season on the same day. For taxpayers with incomes below $62,000, state and federal filing is free if you go to the department's website