When Can You Efile Tax Return?

Last Revised on January 3, 2010

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Just few years back, most people file their tax return on paper like they have always been doing. But things have been changing recently; more and more people are starting to use tax return software and most of them are doing it efile at the end. Efile is a process of filing tax return online using a computer rather than paper forms and sending it through the mail. It’s time to file taxes but many people seem to have questions about efile. One of the most popular one is – when can you efile your tax return? You can efile your taxes as early as January 15, 2009.

You may ask why you can’t efile earlier than that date? There are couple of reasons behind that; first one is because many people don’t get their w2 forms that early. Your employers prepare w2 after the end of the previous year since it has to include all the income and other payroll deductions through the end of the December. Issuers have until Jan 30 to send out these forms. Also the date Jan 15 is considered a fourth quarter estimated tax payment deadline for many.

But you can start preparing your tax return using tax softwares if you have received all the documents, forms and information you need. That way when the Jan 15 comes, you can just push the submit button. Else you can also send your tax return right now through mail to the IRS if you completed it already. There are some instances you could be ready to file tax return right now, for instance if you didn’t work last year and thus don’t need to wait for w-2 form or your only income was an unearned income on the money that you put in the bank’s savings account that earned you a high interest income.

The due date to efile is same as the regular tax return deadline, which is April 15. Even though the tax return due date is the final, there are forms you can fill out an extension period which last until October 15. In conclusion, you can efile anytime between as early as Jan 15 through April 15 as late as 12 midnight; the only condition is that you got all the proper documentation and information that needs to be included in there.

And after you done with all the process and submit your tax through efile, how long do you wait until you get your refunds? If you opted for direct deposit refund payments, the money could be in your bank account within two weeks. Otherwise, it could take anywhere between a week to a month depending on how fast they process your efile. Most of the time the reason for delay is that the IRS either couldn’t find some missing information or there were some incorrect details. But efile softwares are pretty accurate, especially with the numbers since the computer calculates it for you. some of the efile websites and software that are either cheap or completely free are TurboTax, EZ Return and TaxSlayer. Please remember though that both Federal IRS and State process tax returns separately, so after you efile both of them at the same time you might not receive the refunds the same day.

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One Response to “When Can You Efile Tax Return?”

  1. Jeremy p. Johnson Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    It doesn’t make sense to delay the e file date to jan 15 at all. Isn’t the main purpose of efile to make the entire process of tax filing faster? So unless, efile is just to make the consumers do taxes faster and not really make much changes at the IRS end, then should the start day should remain that late.

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