Ready, Set, File: Here's the Earliest Date You Can File Your Taxes This Year

SAVING & SPENDING - TAXES
File early for a faster refund.
Updated June 6, 2024
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The new tax season is officially upon us. Whether you're a meticulous planner or a notorious procrastinator, understanding the deadlines of the tax season can make the process smoother. While you might know off the top of your head that April 15th is typically tax day, it can change from year to year (such as in 2023). Let's dive into the important dates you need to know so you don't miss a deadline, and so you know when you should start prepping your taxes. 

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When can you start filing taxes this year?

The starting line of the tax season is just around the corner. On January 27, 2024, the gates officially open, allowing you to begin filing your taxes for the year. This early kick-off sets the tone for the financial year ahead and positions you strategically to reap several benefits.

Important personal tax deadlines to know

January 16, 2024 - 4th Quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due

January 27, 2024 - First day you can file 2023 taxes

January 31, 2024 - Due date for employers to send W-2 forms

January 31, 2024 - Certain 1099 forms are sent

February 15, 2024 - Reclaim your exemption from withholding

April 1, 2024 - Required minimum distribution due if you turned 73 in 2023

April 15, 2024 - Tax day (unless extended due to local state holiday)

April 15, 2024 - Deadline to File Form 4868 and request an extension

April 15, 2024 - Deadline to make IRA and HSA contributions for 2023 tax year

April 15, 2024 - First quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due

June 17, 2024 - Second quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due

September 16, 2024 - Third quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due

October 15, 2024 - Deadline to file your extended 2023 tax return

December 31, 2024 - Required minimum distributions have to be taken for individuals age 73 or older by the end of 2024

Benefits of filing your taxes as early as possible

Being an early bird when it comes to taxes has its perks. First and foremost, it brings clarity to your financial situation and can help lower your financial stress. Imagine the satisfaction of having your tax affairs in order and knowing if you owe/are owed money well before the official deadline.

Moreover, filing early often translates to receiving any tax refund you might be entitled to quicker, providing a welcome financial boost. Add to that the reduced risk of falling victim to identity theft, as you beat potential fraudsters to the punch.

Tax deadlines for all different types of taxes

If you are self-employed or own a business, your deadlines may look a little different. For partnerships, multi-member LLCs, and S-Corporations that run on a calendar year, you’ll need to file by March 15, 2024. If your operations run on a fiscal year, the deadline is the 15th day of the fourth month after your fiscal year concludes.

If you are self-employed (think freelancer, contractor, or home-based entrepreneur), likely, your taxes aren’t withheld from your paychecks during the year. This means you’ll pay quarterly estimated taxes instead. The last quarterly estimated tax deadline of 2023 is January 16, 2024.

  • January 31, 2024 - Certain 1099 forms are due to be sent
  • March 15, 2024 - Taxes are due for some business types (partnerships, multi-member LLCs, and S-Corporations)
  • April 15, 2024 - Taxes for C-Corporations are due.
  • September 16, 2024 - Deadline for extended partnership and S-corporation returns
  • October 15, 2024 - Deadline for extended C-corporation returns
  • January 15, 2025 - Fourth quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due

Make sure you file on time

If you fail to file your taxes on time then you could incur penalties and interest on any money that is owed. To ensure a seamless tax filing process, consider adopting a proactive approach. Stay organized throughout the year by diligently tracking receipts, expenses, and any tax-related documents. Leverage technology through tax preparation software or seek professional advice.

If, for any reason, meeting the deadline seems challenging, breathe easy knowing you can request an automatic 6-month extension using Form 4868. However, an extension of time to file doesn't grant an extension of time to pay, so estimate and pay any taxes you owe by the original due date.

Extensions and exceptions

The request to file an extension is no later than the due date of your regular return, which for most taxpayers is April 15, 2024. Even if you plan to file in August or September, you must file the request to do so by April 15th.

October 15, 2024, is the extension deadline to file your taxes. Should October 15th fall on a weekend or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day. Your return is considered filed on time if the envelope is addressed, postmarked, and deposited in the mail by October 15th. You may be subject to penalties and fees, beyond this date.

If you electronically file, you can request an extension through IRS Free File. You may also get an extension by electronically paying all or part of your estimated taxes due and indicating that the payment is for an extension. If you select the indicator during this process, you won't need to file a separate extension form.

From specialized taxes like self-employment and making money online to the intricacies of business taxes, be aware of the nuances of your specific situation. Explore deduction opportunities, stay informed about changes in tax laws, and consider consulting with a tax professional to optimize your financial strategy.

Bottom line

The key to a stress-free tax season is knowledge and preparedness. By grasping when you can start filing, the benefits of early filing, navigating diverse tax deadlines, and ensuring timely filing, you can conquer the tax season. As you prepare to tackle your taxes in 2024, remember that April 15 is the deadline for most individual tax filers. Plan ahead, stay organized, and embrace the tax season with newfound confidence.

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Author Details

Georgina Tzanetos Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who has been active in financial media for the past six years. She holds a master's in political economy from NYU, where she studied distressed labor markets.