What is the Earliest Date I Can File My Taxes for 2012?
Online eFile services including TurboTax and H&R Block at Home have their 2012-2013 tax filing software released online and both services are already accepting tax returns for 2012. However, recent passing of new tax laws has required the IRS to reprogram some of their tax processing systems. Due to this reprogramming, the IRS has announced that the earliest date they can begin processing tax returns is January 30, 2013. Some taxpayers, including those claiming residential energy credits, depreciation of property or general business credits may have to wait until February or March to file their taxes.
If you complete your tax return with TurboTax or H&R Block now, as soon as the IRS is ready to accept your return, your taxes will be automatically eFiled for you. If you’re eager to get your tax refund this year, get your eFile submitted early to TurboTax or H&R Block.
Please also see our 2012 – 2013 Tax Calendar for more important tax filing dates including tax due dates and when you should expect to receive tax forms from your employer.
What do I need to file taxes?
In order to file taxes, you must have all your tax forms from your employer in hand — that is any W2s or 1099s from all jobs you worked in the past year. If you know your exact income, and know all your employer information (you can get all necessary information from last year’s W2), you can start your online tax filing without these forms in hand.
If you are looking to get ahead of the game, even without your employer’s tax forms or information, you can still get started on your personal deductions, expenses, and personal information using online tax filing.
Best Free eFile Tax Programs
The first step in filing your taxes online is to choose an tax eFile program. Many are free for Federal returns, and charge a fee for state tax filing. We recommend the following tax software:
- TurboTax - Free Federal eFile (read our review)
- TaxAct – Free eFile (read our review)
- H&R Block At Home – Free Federal efile, State Additional (read our review)
Both TurboTax and H&R Block at Home offer great solutions no matter the complexity of your tax returns. For basic filers with limited deductions, the free versions of these programs will be acceptable. But if you run a small business, have a lot of investments, or a lot of deductions, you will want to upgrade to a more comprehensive package.