The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting individual tax returns on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, it announced today.

The announcement followed the passage on Friday of the tax extenders legislation last Friday (see “Tax Extenders Pass Final Hurdle”).

January 19 is one day earlier than the start of tax season in 2015, and the filing deadline for 2016 will be Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the customary April 15, due to the celebration of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until Tuesday, April 19, due to the Patriots Day holiday.

“We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season on time,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement. “Our employees have been working hard throughout this year to make this happen. We also appreciate the help from the nation’s tax professionals and the software community, who are critical to helping taxpayers during the filing season.”

Koskinen noted the new legislation makes permanent many tax provisions and extends many others for several years. "This provides certainty for planning purposes, which will help taxpayers and the tax community as well as the IRS," he said.

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.