The IRS encourages taxpayers to take steps now to get ready to file their 2023 individual federal tax return (Tax season). It's important for filers to gather all the correct information they need before filing their return. Organize and gather tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Identification Numbers and this year's Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PIN). Filing an accurate return can help taxpayers avoid refund delays or later IRS mailings about a problem.
People should report all their taxable income and wait to file until they receive all income related documents. This is especially important for people who may receive various Forms 1099 from banks or other payers reporting unemployment compensation, dividends, pensions, annuities or retirement plan distributions. If a taxpayer receives Forms 1099-K, they should visit What to do with Form 1099-K to help them determine if that money should be reported as income on their federal tax return.
People should plan to file electronically with direct deposit. This is still the fastest and easiest way to file and receive a refund. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns whenever possible.
EITC Refunds for Many Available Starting February 27.
Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund after the IRS receives a return. Although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer. The easiest way to check a refund's status is by using Where's My Refund? on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go app.
Under the federal Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS cannot issue Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds before mid-February. Where's My Refund? should show an updated status by February 17 for most early EITC/ACTC filers. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by February 27 if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
IRS. Gov, IRS Online Account Provide Free Help.
IRS Individual Online Account: Individuals with a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification number can log-in or sign-up for an IRS Individual Online Account to securely access information about their federal tax account, view balance and payment options, view and approve authorizations from their tax professional, view digital copies of select IRS notices and get information on their most recently filed return that includes their Adjusted Gross Income.
Interactive Tax Assistant: The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) is a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to individual circumstances. Based on input, it can determine if a person should file a tax return, their filing status, if someone can be claimed as a dependent, if a type of income is taxable, if a filer is eligible to claim a credit or if an expense can be deducted.
Choosing a tax pro: People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications to find a preparer who is skilled in tax preparation and accurately files income tax returns. Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, choosing the wrong tax return preparer hurts taxpayers financially every year. Be sure to check tips for choosing a tax preparer and how to avoid unethical "ghost" return preparers.
Free tax help by IRS certified volunteers: Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, volunteers are available in communities nationwide to provide free tax assistance to low-to-moderate income (generally under $64,000 in adjusted gross income) and elderly taxpayers (age 60 and older). At selected sites, taxpayers can input and electronically file their own tax return with the assistance of an IRS certified volunteer. For additional information, visit Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers.
Help for the military: A Department of Defense program, MilTax generally offers free return preparation and electronic filing software for federal income tax returns and up to three state income tax returns for all military members, and some veterans, with no income limit.