When Can You File Taxes in 2024?

Here’s the soonest you can file taxes in 2024 and what to expect this filing season.

January calendar 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2023 federal tax returns on Jan. 29. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wait until that date to file. Some taxpayers can file their federal returns as early as today. Others might need to wait until February. So, when should you file?

Here’s what you need to know.

Earliest day to file taxes 2024

Some tax preparation companies, such as Intuit’s TurboTax, will let you submit your federal tax return now, even though the IRS isn't yet accepting tax returns. 

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You’ll still need to wait until Jan. 29 for the IRS to receive your return, but if you’re ready for tax season, submitting your return now might place yours at the front of the line. Just make sure you have all your year-end documents before you hit submit.

Note: Also, Congress is currently negotiating a funding deal, which could include a new child tax credit. If you claim the child tax credit, the anticipated changes could impact you. Any tax changes are expected to occur before Jan. 29 and would apply to this tax filing season. 

What documents do you need to file taxes? You’ll need all your 2023 income statements, such as W-2s and 1099s. However, some taxpayers will need additional documents. 

For example, if you plan to claim the mortgage interest deduction, you’ll need to wait for your Form 1098. And if you did any freelance work, you’ll want to organize all your receipts for business expenses.

(Note: Employers have until Jan. 31 to distribute W-2s, which means you might not receive yours in the mail until early February.)

IRS Free File

The IRS Free File program opened Jan. 12. Eligible taxpayers can file their federal returns for free using guided tax preparation software.

  • Your AGI must be $73,000 or less to take advantage of free guided tax preparation.
  • Free guided tax preparation is done through one of the IRS’ tax preparation partners.
  • If you do not qualify for IRS Free File, you can download and use fillable forms to file your taxes.

Free Fillable Forms closes after Oct. 21, 2023, and accounts are deleted at that time. So, you may want to keep copies of your tax documents elsewhere if you choose this option.

2024 tax filing season

The IRS has made numerous changes for the 2024 tax season, including expanding its use of chatbots to improve customer service and using AI to identify possible tax violations involving high-income taxpayers. The improvements are meant to help restore fairness to the tax system and to speed tax return processing

These IRS enhancements could mean that some taxpayers will receive their federal tax refunds earlier this year. However, if you claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the refundable portion of the 2023 child tax credit (sometimes called the additional child tax credit), the IRS cannot release your refund until mid-February, regardless of how early you file.

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Katelyn Washington
Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years’ experience working in tax and finance. While she specializes in tax content, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement and financial planning and has had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes that knowledge is the key to success and enjoys helping others reach their goals by providing content that educates and informs.