Yes, it’s that time of year again. The IRS announced last week that the 2016 tax season will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, January 19. They’ll begin accepting both individual electronic returns and paper returns that day.

The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file, because it’s faster and reduces the possibility of human error.

This year, the IRS is especially focusing on preventing identity theft. As part of the Security Summit initiative, the IRS has been working closely with the tax industry and state revenue departments to provide stronger protections against identity theft.

Note that the filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date, because Washington, D.C. is celebrating Emancipation Day on the 15th. (And due to Patriots Day, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 19 in Maine and Massachusetts.)

This year, the IRS is aiming to issue 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

We’re already scheduling appointments, so if you’d like to get in early, go ahead and give us a call at (864) 836-3136.