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Karl's Kolumn

IRS DRIVES THE WHEELS… and has the power to keep them turning.

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Monday that Jan. 23, 2023 is the beginning of the nation’s 2023 tax season when the agency will begin accepting and processing 2022 tax year returns.

More than 168 million individual tax returns are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the April 18 tax deadline. People have three extra days to file this year due to the calendar.

With the three previous tax seasons dramatically impacted by the pandemic, the IRS has taken additional steps for 2023 to improve service for taxpayers. As part of the August passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS has hired more than 5,000 new telephone assistors and added more in-person staff to help support taxpayers.

The IRS urges people to have all the information they need before they file a tax return. Filing a complete and accurate tax return can avoid extensive processing and refund delays as well as avoid the possibility of needing to file an amended tax return.

The IRS has a variety of free services available to help people. The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs also offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. People can also get help from trusted tax professionals, commercially available tax software as well as IRS Free File, which provides free electronic filing of tax returns.

The filing deadline to submit 2022 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Tuesday, April 18, 2023, for most taxpayers. By law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way as federal holidays. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the weekend and the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day holiday, which falls on Monday, April 17.

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, to file.

The IRS reminds people to visit IRS.gov first for common questions and also to check on the status of their refunds. IRS.gov has much of the same information that IRS phone assistors have.

The IRS anticipates most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically, if they choose direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax return. Taxpayers should check Where’s My Refund?on IRS.gov for their personalized refund status.

Where’s My Refund? should show an updated status by Feb. 18 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 Feb. 28 if taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. The Where’s My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight.

Taxpayers can find online tools at IRS.gov that are easy-to-use and available anytime. Millions of people use them to help file and pay taxes, find information about their accounts, determine eligibility for tax credits and get answers to tax questions.

There are various types of tax return preparers, including enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys and some who don’t have a professional credential. Choosing a Tax Professional offers information to help people select one. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find local preparers who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.

It’s never too early to get ready for the tax-filing season. For more tips and resources, check out the Get Ready page on IRS.gov.

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