But it doesn't have to be stressful. In fact, January is the perfect time to prepare and organize for the filing dates ahead, said public accountant David Riggs, owner of Accounting Services of York in Springettsbury Township.
Riggs -- who purchased the firm in 2009 -- offered a few tips for those who want to start the season off right:
GET ORGANIZED >> "If you don't have a filing system, January's the perfect time to start," Riggs said. "They can start fresh and put everything in the files instead of a shoebox. We see a lot of shoeboxes."
There are many apps available for smart phones and tablets that can help you in this quest.
Riggs recommends one called "Tax Pocket," which, he said, is sanctioned by the National Association of Tax Professionals.
"It helps you keep your receipts organized and track miles," he said. "It emails your accountant at the end of the year."
CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS >> If a contribution is made before Dec. 31, the deduction will count on this year's filing, Riggs said.
This works well for people who itemize -- a way to reduce your taxable income by reporting things such as property taxes and mortgage interest.
If you're donating clothing or other items to, say, charities such as Goodwill or Salvation Army, make sure the receipt you are given includes a dollar figure, Riggs said.
Your accountant -- or whoever does the taxes in your family -- will need that information for filing.
RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS >> If you're saving for retirement, make a contribution to an existing account through April 15, said Riggs.
If you're planning to start a new account and want it included on this year's taxes, do so by Dec. 31.
Contributions to retirement accounts translate into "savers credit."
For a single person, the maximum savers credit is $1,000, Riggs said. For couples, it is $2,000.
The more you contribute, the larger the credit.
"If you put the max -- $5,000 -- into an IRA, you get the full $2,000," Riggs said. "It's a good sized credit."
KNOW YOUR DATES >> Filing season officially starts Jan. 31, Riggs said.
"The IRS pushed back the date because of the government shutdown last fall," he added. "You can still get your taxes done and be prepared. When the filling season starts, if you have your W2s, they can be filed."
This year, Riggs said, accounting professionals are being told that refunds will arrive much earlier than in years past -- about seven to 10 days.