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Tuesday January 31, 2023

Washington News

Washington Hotline

2023 Tax Filing Season Opens on January 23

In IR-2023-5, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the tax-filing season will open on Monday, January 23, 2023. The IRS expects more than 168 million individual tax returns this year. Most taxpayers will file before the April 18 tax deadline. While the prior three years have been impacted by the COVID pandemic, the IRS hired over 5,000 new telephone staff and made other changes to improve the filing season.

Acting IRS Commissioner Doug O'Donnell stated, "This filing season is the first to benefit the IRS and our nation's tax system from multi-year funding in the Inflation Reduction Act. With these new additional resources, taxpayers and tax professionals will see improvements in many areas of the agency this year. We have trained thousands of new employees to answer phones and help people. While much work remains after several difficult years, we expect people to experience improvements this tax season."

The IRS has been updating its computers and other systems to prepare for the 2023 tax season. O'Donnell emphasized the systems will be ready to receive returns on January 23. Taxes must be filed and paid by Tuesday, April 18, 2023. If the individual desires to extend, the extended tax-filing date will be Monday, October 16, 2023.

The IRS recommends multiple specific steps for taxpayers to have a smooth filing experience.

1. Gather Your Information — All 2022 tax records should be gathered. This may include your Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers or an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number. Additional forms may include IRS Forms 1099 from banks or other financial institutions that pay interest, unemployment compensation, dividends, pension or retirement plan distributions. If an individual is not self-employed, IRS Forms W-2 from any employers will be required. The IRS reminds individuals that nearly all income is taxable, including unemployment income, interest, digital asset sales, gig economy or other income.

2. Ask Questions on IRS.gov — The IRS emphasizes that it expects to provide better service, but many individuals will find answers to their questions on IRS.gov. O'Donnell noted, "Our phone volumes remain at very high levels. For faster access to information, we urge people to start with IRS.gov. From there, taxpayers can quickly access the variety of free resources available to help taxpayers anytime, day or night."

3. File Electronically — Taxpayers will have more accurate returns by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. The direct deposit is normally through a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app.

4. IRS Free File — Several commercial tax-preparation software companies will be ready to launch the Free File program on January 23. Taxpayers with $73,000 or less in 2022 income qualify to use free commercial software on IRS.gov. All taxpayers can use the IRS Free File Fillable forms.

5. Prompt Refunds — The IRS has a goal to transfer refunds within 21 days if the taxpayer files electronically and chooses direct deposit. Taxpayers can check their refund status using "Where's My Refund?" on IRS.gov. Tax refunds may be delayed until mid-February for individuals who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Congress requires the IRS to delay tax refunds for these returns until there is additional review.

6. IRS Online Account — Taxpayers are encouraged to create an IRS Online Account. It allows access to personal tax information, payments and adjusted gross income from prior tax years. The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) on IRS.gov also may answer many of your questions. If you have life event changes or are potentially eligible for credits, the ITA could be very helpful.

Published January 13, 2023

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