Tax Season


DEFINITION of 'Tax Season'

The time period between January 1 and April 15 of each year in which individuals traditionally prepare the previous year's financial statements and reports. In the United States, individuals must file their annual tax return by April 15 of the year following the reportable earnings.

During tax season, businesses must furnish employees, contract laborers and others, such as royalty earners, with tax documents specifying data required to complete individuals' tax returns. People who are required to file a tax return must do so by April 15 or request an extension.


Loading the player...


Tax season is the busy season for many tax preparers and accounting professionals. This three and a half month period is the time that people collect the necessary paperwork, including wage and earnings statements (such as 1099s or W-2s) and assemble tax returns.

While some individuals calculate their own tax returns, many rely on the expertise of tax preparers and accounting professionals to be certain the paperwork is filed correctly and to improve the financial outcome of the tax return. Individuals must file federal, state and, in some cases, local tax returns.

  1. Internal Revenue Code - IRC

    The comprehensive set of tax laws created by the Internat Revenue ...
  2. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
  3. Income Tax

    A tax that governments impose on financial income generated by ...
  4. Internal Revenue Service - IRS

    A United States government agency that is responsible for the ...
  5. Federal Tax Brackets

    Income tax groupings specified by the Internal Revenue Service ...
  6. Duty Free

    Goods that international travelers can purchase without paying ...
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Career Advice: Financial Analyst Vs. Accountant

    Read an in-depth comparison between a career as a financial analyst and a career as an accountant, including how to determine which is best for you.
  2. Taxes

    Next Season, File Taxes On Your Own

    Master these fundamentals and you'll be doing your own taxes with minimal stress.
  3. Taxes

    10 Money-Saving Year-End Tax Tips

    Getting organized well before the deadline will curb your frustration and your tax liability.
  4. Taxes

    10 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

    The receipts you cram into your wallet could be replaced with cash come tax season.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Taxes in Florida for Small Businesses: The Basics

    Learn why Florida's tax laws make it an attractive place to start a small business, and understand the types of taxes a small business owner must pay there.
  6. Taxes

    7 Expenses You Won’t Believe Are Deductible

    You may be surprised at some of the things that qualify as legitimate tax deductions. Here are seven that are especially quirky.
  7. Taxes

    6 Tax Myths Everyone Should Know

    The notion that large refunds are good is but one of many enduring tax myths. Here are five more you should know.
  8. Taxes

    Here's How to Deduct Your Stock Losses From Your Tax Bill

    Learn the proper procedure for deducting stock investing losses, and get some tips on how to strategically take losses to lower your income tax bill.
  9. Taxes

    The 5 Countries Without Income Taxes

    Discover information on some of the best countries to consider relocating to that offer the financial benefit of charging no income tax.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    7 Ways to Create a Tax-Efficient Portfolio

    Taxes may be a necessary evil, but that doesn't mean they can't be reduced. Here's a host of smart moves today's investors can make.
  1. How long do I need to keep income tax records?

    Keep all tax-related records for at least three years. For example, keep your 2015 tax return, filed in early 2016, at the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are estate distributions taxable?

    In general, most estate distributions are not subject to income tax. In some cases, however, a distribution from an estate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are Cafeteria plans taxable?

    Whether the benefits you receive through your employer-sponsored cafeteria plan are taxable depends entirely on which benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why is Panama considered a tax haven?

    The Republic of Panama is considered one of the most well-established pure tax havens in the Caribbean due to extensive legislation ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do financial advisors prepare tax returns for clients?

    Financial advisors engage in a wide variety of financial areas, including tax return preparation and tax planning for their ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How are variable annuities taxed at death?

    If the owner of a variable annuity dies before receiving full payment, his beneficiary must pay taxes on any earnings received. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Ex Works (EXW)

    An international trade term requiring the seller to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All ...
  2. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. LOIs are usually not legally binding in their entirety. ...
  3. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  4. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  5. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  6. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!