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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting the 2022 federal income tax return on January 23, the agency announced Thursday.
Of course, it is not necessary that you file your return that same day.
The official deadline for this year's returns will be Tuesday, April 18, the IRS announced.
This is because April 15, the usual closing date, falls on a Saturday and Monday, April 17, is Emancipation Day, an official holiday in the city of Washington, where the agency's headquarters are located.
By that deadline you must have filed your 2022 income tax return and paid any federal income taxes you owed from last year.
But anyone can request — and will automatically be granted — a six-month extension to file their return until October 16, 2023, if they turn in the completed Form 4868 by April 18.
Filing that form, however, will not extend the deadline to pay any remaining income tax to 2022. That deadline remains April 18.
Additionally, tax filing and payment deadlines will be extended for anyone living in counties declared federal disaster areas due to recent natural disasters.
This includes storm victims in several California counties.
They now have until May 15, 2023 to file their returns.
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It also includes tax filers who do not live in a federally declared disaster area, but whose relevant tax records are located there (for example, with a tax preparer or at a business in the area).
How to get a quick refund
Most American taxpayers usually get their money back.
Last year, the average return was $3,176.
According to the IRS, you'll likely receive your refund within 21 days after you file—the usual turnaround time—but only if you fill out your return accurately and completely, file electronically, and elect to receive the refund. through direct deposit.
The agency advises against, to the extent possible, filing the return on paper.
For anyone expecting a refund due to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit, the IRS is prohibited by law from issuing it before mid-February, in order to give agency time to stop fraudulent refunds.
This year, the IRS said that EITC refunds will be available "to many" in their bank accounts or on their debit cards starting February 28.
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While millions of tax filers pay a professional each year to help prepare and file their tax returns, or buy tax software to do it themselves, the IRS offers a free filing program for anyone with an adjusted gross income. 2022 of $73,000 or less.
The program allows you to prepare and electronically file your return at no charge using software from participating tax preparation companies.
In addition, the IRS also offers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Senior Tax Counseling programs, which are free basic tax preparation for those who typically make $60,000 or less.
IRS expects customer service to improve this season
Over the past two filing seasons, tax filers have experienced a number of customer service issues at the IRS due to staffing shortages and other pandemic-related difficulties at the IRS.
Last year, for example, the agency was only able to handle 13% of the calls it received from filers and was faced with a large backlog of unprocessed returns.
This year should be different.
"This filing season is the first in which the IRS and our nation's tax system have benefited from multi-year funding from the Inflation Reduction Act," Acting Commissioner Doug O'Donnell said Thursday. IRS, in a statement.
"With these additional new resources, taxpayers and tax professionals will notice improvements in many areas of the agency this year. We have trained thousands of new employees to answer phones and help people."
The agency said it has hired more than 5,000 people to handle the calls and added more on-site staff to help taxpayers.