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By Cara Beth Smith

The Internal Revenue Service declared January 23 as the beginning of the 2023 tax season. Since then, 2022 tax returns have been accepted and processed. This year, the deadline is April 18, providing three more days than usual, according to the IRS’s website. This later deadline is due to the weekend and a holiday.

IRS.gov shared, “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.” Hopefully, this will speed up the process of receiving refunds for taxpayers.

Filing for a tax return can be stressful. Errors and missing information can cause processing to be delayed. According to the IRS, some common errors include incorrect filing status, errors in personal information, incorrect routing numbers and account numbers, and failing to sign and date the return. It is important to check, double check, and check again to be sure that you crossed all of your t’s and dotted all of your i’s before submitting.

Like I said before, tax filing can be a stressful task. Luckily there are resources and professionals that can help make the process smoother. Online tools, articles, and more are available for free at IRS.gov.

There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year’s filing season, according to the IRS. Many of these dates have already passed, but you can put this information in your pocket for next tax season.

January 13: IRS Free File opens

January 17: Due date for tax year 2022 fourth quarter estimated tax payment.

January 23: IRS begins 2023 tax season and starts accepting and processing individual 2022 tax returns.

January 27: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.

April 18: National due date to file a 2022 tax return or request an extension and pay tax owed due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C.

October 16: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2022 tax returns.

According to CNBC, “The IRS had issued 54 million refunds as of March 17. About 75% of the processed tax returns have gotten a refund. The average refund was $2,933, compared with $3,305 at the same point last year. The reduction is tied to expired pandemic-era aid such as boosted child tax credit and earned income tax credit payments, for example.”

It is important to remember and understand that there are penalties for failure to file and pay. CNBC shared, “Not filing a return results in a penalty of 5% of your unpaid balance per month or part of a month, up to 25%, plus interest, which is currently 7%. Failing to pay a tax bill results in a lesser 0.5% penalty of your unpaid balance per month or part of a month, up to 25%, plus interest. If you can’t afford to cover your full balance, you may apply for an installment agreement, a long-term monthly payment plan.”

Tax Season will soon come to an end. Until next year…

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