IR-2020-02, January 6, 2020 WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service confirmed that the nation's tax season will start for individual tax return filers on Monday, January 27, 2020, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2019 tax year returns. The deadline to file 2019 tax returns and pay any tax owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the traditional April tax deadline. "As we enter the filing season, taxpayers should know that the dedicated workforce of the IRS stands ready to help," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We encourage taxpayers to plan ahead and use the tools and information available on IRS.gov. The IRS and the nation's tax community are committed to making this another smooth filing season." The IRS set the January 27 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems and to address the potential impact of recent tax legislation on 2019 tax returns. While taxpayers may prepare returns through the IRS' Free File program as well as many tax software companies and tax professionals before the start date, processing of those returns will begin after IRS systems open later this month. "The IRS encourages everyone to consider filing electronically and choosing direct deposit," Rettig said. "It's fast, accurate and the best way to get your refund as quickly as possible." Filing electronically flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. Taxpayers can get free help preparing and filing taxes through IRS Free File online or free tax help from trained volunteers at community sites around the country. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they don't have to wait until January 27 to start their tax return or contact a reputable tax preparer. In addition, IRS tax help is available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov, the official IRS website, where people can find answers to tax questions and resolve tax issues online. The Let Us Help You page helps answer most tax questions, and the IRS Services Guide PDF links to these and other IRS services.