IRS Just Released These Essential Tips for Filing Your Taxes This Year

The agency is starting the 2023 tax season with some new recommendations.

With the new year comes new beginnings, and—perhaps less excitingly—another tax season. Today, Jan. 23, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) started accepting and processing 2022 tax returns, but don't fret if you haven't even begun thinking about yours. While you still have months before this year's deadline of April 18, however, officials are already offering important advice you'll want to pay attention to. Read on to find out what essential tips can help you get through the 2023 tax season.

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The IRS is advising you to have all your information ready before filing.

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You might be tempted to get your taxes over with as soon as possible—but don't go into it blind. The IRS recommends that taxpayers have all the right information they need before trying to file a tax return.

"Organize and gather 2022 tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers and this year's Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers valid for calendar year 2023," the agency advised in a Jan. 12 release.

Skipping this important step can put you at risk of errors, extensive processing, and refund delays, according to the IRS.

"Filing an accurate tax return can help taxpayers avoid delays or later IRS notices. Sometimes this means waiting to make sure individuals have accounted for all their income and the related documents," the agency explained, noting that this is "especially important" for taxpayers who expect to receive forms for non-employment income from their banks or those who are reporting unemployment compensation, dividends, pension, annuity, or retirement plan distributions.

That's not the only thing you should do to avoid delays.

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If you're worried about potential delays, you should also take into account how you're filing your taxes this year. "There are important steps people can take to help ensure their tax return and refund are processed without delays. The most important is to file electronically with direct deposit," the IRS noted.

Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit is "still the fastest and easiest way to file and receive a refund," according to the agency. Most taxpayers are expected to receive their refund within 21 days if they file this way, and if there are no issues with their return. Filing a paper return, on the other hand, puts taxpayers more at risk of processing delays—so the IRS said you should avoid this method, if possible.

"To speed refunds, the IRS urges people to file electronically with direct deposit information as soon as they have everything needed to file an accurate return," the agency added. "Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers with their return."

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The IRS recommends visiting its website if you have any questions.

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Filing taxes can be stressful and confusing at times, especially when requirements change year to year. But the IRS has filled its official website with helpful information for taxpayers to follow.

"The IRS reminds people to visit IRS.gov first for common questions and also to check on the status of their refunds," the agency said. Using this tool can help you avoid trying to access its busy phone service, as the website "has much of the same information that IRS phone assistors have."

"Our phone volumes remain at very high levels," Acting IRS Commissioner Doug O'Donnell said in a statement. "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."

But the agency has hired more people to help taxpayers this year.

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With the last three tax seasons being "dramatically impacted by the pandemic" and more than 168 million individual tax returns expected this year, the IRS has worked ahead to improve its service for the 2023 tax season.

In Aug. 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which "changed a wide range of tax laws and provided funds to improve our services and technology to make tax filing easier for you," according to the IRS.

As part of this new plan, the agency has "hired more than 5,000 new telephone assistors and added more in-person staff" to help taxpayers file their taxes this year.

"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," O'Donnell said. "We've 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."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date financial information from top experts and the latest news and research, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the money you're spending, saving, or investing, always consult your financial advisor directly.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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