The IRS test batch is often discussed as to when they will accept the first tax returns. They accept some tax returns earlier than the announced opening date. The IRS regularly conducts testing of its systems and software to ensure that they function correctly and meet security and compliance standards. IRS procedures, technologies, and terminology can evolve, and new initiatives may be introduced over time. As of this writing, this is what we know about a test batch of filed tax returns that the IRS uses before the official opening of tax season.
When does the IRS accept tax returns?
The IRS typically begins accepting and processing tax returns for the previous tax year in late January usually around the third week. However, the exact opening date varies from year to year. Our IRS refund calendar estimates when the IRS will open and when there is hub testing. The date they will begin accepting tax returns is announced on their website in IRS news releases.
Keep in mind that certain tax situations, tax law changes, or unforeseen circumstances can impact the timing of the IRS accepting returns. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to stay informed by checking the official IRS communications for the latest updates regarding tax return filing.
Additionally, consider any changes to tax laws or regulations that might affect your filing, and ensure you have all the necessary documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, and other income and deduction records, before you file your tax return.
What is IRS Hub Testing?
Each year the IRS announces the date they will begin accepting tax returns. It usually is around the third week of January. However many tax preparers allow you to file your tax return in early January before the IRS date is announced. If you file before tax season officially opens, your return sits in a “queue” to be accepted when the IRS begins.
Before the official opening date the IRS starts a controlled test period. They begin randomly accepting a limited number of tax returns earlier than announced. The IRS will process some tax returns to test their systems. This means that some tax returns could be accepted earlier than the official opening date. Look at our refund calendar to estimate when there is an IRS test batch and when they will begin accepting tax returns.
When is the IRS test batch?
It varies each year but we have found that it is usually the week prior to the official opening of tax season. It is unknown how the IRS chooses which tax returns will be tested. If your tax return is in queue, it could be selected for testing and it could be accepted early.
Will I get my tax refund early if my return is in a test batch?
If your return is selected in a test batch and is approved, you could receive your tax refund sooner than expected. In some circumstances, we have seen refunds as early as the day of opening. However, if your tax refund is subject to the Path Act of 2015 which mandates refunds with the EITC or ACTC credit be held until February 15th, you will not receive your tax refund early. Check your tax return to see if your filed the EITC or ACTC credits subject to the Path Act.
What is the first day for tax refund?
Use our IRS refund cycle chart to see what dates we expect refunds for tax returns in test batches and after the official open of tax season.