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when will the irs start accepting returns in 2012

    Jan 17th is the 1st day IRS efiling opens. It could take another day or so for an efiled return to be accepted, if that is what you really meant. TurboTax will let you go ahead and transmit on Jan 5th, but your return will just sit there until the 17th.

    Here's the IRS schedule for processing refunds:
    • Please wait until you receive all your W-2's, 1099's, etc.  Otherwise, you may end up having to file an amended return, which has to be mailed to the IRS, and takes12 weeks or more to process.
    The IRS actually already accepted mine.  I received confirmation via email and text.  This was on 1/11/2012.  My expected return date is Jan. 25th, 2012.  This is specifically what the email I received said:

    Based upon the acceptance date of this Federal electronic return, the Federal refund should be transferred to the appropriate bank on 01/25/2012 (allow your bank 48-72 additional hours for transfer to the appropriate account). Please keep in mind, however, that the IRS does not guarantee a specific date that a refund will be deposited into a taxpayer's financial institution account or mailed. Taxpayers who e-filed can get refund information 72 hours after the return is accepted by the IRS. To check the status of a refund, call 1-800-829-4477 (toll free) or go to and click on Where's My Refund.

    Hope this helps.
    • Really? I find this very hard to believe. Until I hear of more people claiming this has happened ( and reliable ones at that) I call bs.
    • mine was like that last year
    twizzy1973 -- Taxbrain has a cute little calculator on one of their screens.  If you click on the date your return was accepted, it will tell you when you get your refund.  No matter what date you click on between now and January 18, the direct deposit refund date is always 1/25/12.  So filing earlier than the 1/17 IRS open acceptance date gets you nothing.

    You'll find their refund date calculator here:
      You can get your return together, but you won't be able to get your refund until the second or last week of January. *January 31st is the last day for employers to send out W-2's.*
        There are two dates to consider:
        The IRS will not start processing or accepting eFiling until January 17, 2012.  
        TurboTax will "accept" and "stockpile" your submitted return starting January 5, 2012.

        One potential problem with submitting/sending it as soon as you can is that once it is banked/stockpiled by Intuit, the file cannot be retrieved. If you note any errors or potential corrections after you e-file on January 5 or thereabouts, you will need to wait until your original return is processed by the IRS, then file an amended return Form 1040X [and possible state amend return - oh happy days :(  ]

        Do consider possibly waiting for your W-2 to arrive before submitting your return.
        You can do pretty much everything else in preparing before going back to the W-2 by "skipping" entering your W-2 until later..

        You can mail your return in earlier than that but doing so will not result in a refund any earlier than if you e-file on the 17th of January, as paper returns take longer to process.

        IRS Schedule of process refunds:

        So you can see from the IRS schedule, they expect to process direct deposit refunds in about 8 days from processing.  Note that the refund date is dependent on the date the IRS accepts the return, which is not the same as the date that you transmit the form into TurboTax.
        s/ Scruffy_Curmudgeon - Not an Intuit employee
        IAFF retired Firefighter(FF1/2)&Paramedic, -USAR O3 AIS/ASA '66-'67
          Here is the IRS Refund Cycle Chart:

          Note that the first acceptance date in 1/17/12.
          • Who was the email from?  Sounds like it was just a Turbo Tax email telling you your return was submitted and based on the IRS accepting it on Jan 17 your refund will be 1/25.  It didn't actually say the IRS accepted your return yet but based on the fact if they do accept it on Jan 17......
          • I filed mine on taxbrain yesterday and an hour ago i got an accepted byt the irs email.
          • I don't know how that happended because the IRS is not accepting returns until Jan 17.  Are you sure they didn't just acknowledge receiving it (which is not the same as "accepting"/processing it.)
          I also got an acceptance from the IRS.  Each transmitting party was able to send in a very small amount of returns each day starting on the 10th and ending today.  To verify this  go to Drake software.  Bottom right side go to their blog and you will see that this is true.
          • The IRS is beta-testing its new e-filing system.  That may be what's going on, dora.
          • Like Dora25 said.  I filed mine on the 9th because my return is simple and I had all my information.  On the 11th I got my acceptance email and text.  I am not using turbo tax this year I am using TaxAct.  This is not BS.  I got the acceptance email.  I edited out my name and refund amount for privacy but I promise you that my return is accepted.  It's the same email I get every year.  For those looking at the refund cycle chart it does NOT say that's the earliest acceptance date.  It states as long as your Return is accepted by those dates than you should get it by the projected date.

            Read this for further verification:


            This week, the IRS is running limited testing of their E-filing system.   During this week, transmitters like Drake Tax Software can send a very few returns.  We began the testing on Tuesday the 10th, and it runs through Friday the 13th.

            It is a limited beta testing as SweetieJean Stated.  Skeptics believe what you want.  I merely posted that mine was accepted to let others know.
          • However, the first refunds won't be issued until January 25 in any case.
          • I used and their website started accepting your return filing on January 5th. I filed on the 6th and got my acknowledgment from the IRS on January 13th. As of yet my info isn't in the "where's my refund" info page but I have already received the acknowledgment from the IRS. It seems they have started accepting them earlier than they previously stated.
          • Also I'm not sure why everyone is commenting that you need to wait till you get your W-2 forms. If you have worked for the company before you have the FEIN number on your previous years W-2 and all of the information that is on your W-2 is the information that is on your final paystub of the year. Even if you haven't worked for the employer you can do an FEIN search if you don't want to wait till the first week in February just to file. Some of us out there need that cash a couple weeks sooner... Plus when filing an amended return you only have to wait for that portion of your return, not the entire thing...
          • Often the information on the W-2 is different from that of your final pay stub, due to pre-tax employee benefit deductions and the like.  Also read the following from IRS Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Individual Income Tax Returns:
            "EROs must not electronically file individual income tax returns prior to receiving Forms W-2, W-2G or 1099-R."
          • i give up! - It's the law; it's the best course to avoid trouble - but, heck, go ahead and shoot yourself
            particularly since W-2's are out already for a lot and most within the week.