Today tax season kicks off into full swing as it’s the first day that the IRS will be accepting individuals’ tax returns. They will begin both processing mailed paper forms as well as accepting electronically filed taxes.

The IRS expects that more than 150 million Americans will file tax returns before the tax season ends in April. While many prefer to continue with the old-fashioned paper filing, more than 80 percent of those returns are expected to be completed using e-filing preparation software.

The IRS also expects that more than 70 percent of taxpayers will receive tax refunds this year. In 2015, the IRS issued 109 million refunds with an average of $2,797.

When filing your taxes this year, choosing e-file and direct deposit for your refunds will remain to be the easiest and safest way to file an accurate return and promptly receive your refund. The IRS said that they are anticipating issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

Of course, some of you may have filed early but unfortunately you won’t be getting your money any earlier. Tax software giants like Intuit TurboTax and H&R Block held on to your files until the IRS begins accepting them on Tuesday.

It’s special for the IRS to be getting the season kicked off on time this year as it comes at the end of a time of turmoil for the IRS and Commissioner John Koskinen, who took over the position in December 2013. House Republicans introduced a resolution to impeach him in October 2015 for false statements under oath.

Another threat to derail the start of tax season in 2016 was avoided when the House and Senate reached a deal on tax extenders legislation in mid-December. The passing of the legislation meant that the IRS didn’t have to scramble to incorporate tax changes into the IRS’ computer system at the end of the year.

“We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season on time,” Koskinen said in a statement announcing the 19th as the first day they’d be accepting filings. “"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."

The ending of tax season this year for 48 states will be on April 18, three days after the common ending day of April 15. Two states, Maine and Massachusetts, will have a deadline of April 19.

The reason for the three day delay is that April 15th this year is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. which commemorates Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862. However, since the 16th falls on a Saturday this year, it’s being celebrated on the nearest weekday, which is Friday the 15th. That pushes the tax return deadline through the weekend to Monday.

The reason for the delay in Maine and Massachusetts is that April 18 is Patriots Day in those states, an annual celebration of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.

The IRS is also introducing some additional measures this year to protect people filing taxes. To protect those filing from potential tax-related identity theft and refund fraud, the IRS is working with state tax authorities and the tax industry. Strong protections are securing those filing through measures that are going into effect for the 2016 tax season.

Many of the changes made this year will go unnoticed by the taxpayers but help the IRS to protect them. This year will see new security requirements when preparing taxes online, especially when signing in to tax account software. These measures have been introduced to protect your tax software account and personal information.

While well over 90 percent of all tax returners use tax return preparation software, the IRS is also encouraging people to speak with a trusted tax professional like those here at G.I. Tax that can help provide you with information about tax law.

Now that the IRS is accepting tax returns, come in and see our tax professionals at G.I. Tax. Our expertise will ensure that you get the maximum return possible.