When to file your taxes this year to avoid late fees and get your refund as fast as possible

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when to file taxes
E-file your tax return early to prevent fraud.

When are taxes due?

The federal tax deadline has been slightly extended for individuals for 2022 returns.

Typically, the deadline to file taxes is April 15, although it’s been extended to May and beyond in recent years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, it’s on April 18, 2023, to accommodate the holiday of Emancipation Day on April 16, which is recognized in Washington DC. State tax deadlines may vary so make sure to check your state’s government website for accurate information.

When should I file taxes?

You may start preparing your return as soon as you receive your W-2 and all other other tax documents required to be reported on your return. The IRS begins accepting tax returns in late January. It’s recommended to file electronically to get your refund as quickly as possible.

What do I need to file taxes?

Employees need W-2s and non-employees, including contractors or gig workers, need 1099s. These forms will either be mailed to you in February or will be available online through your payroll company.

Banks are also required to send 1099s to customers who received interest or dividends.

If you still don’t have your W-2 by the tax deadline, you can use the W-2 substitute, Form 4852and estimate your wages and withheld taxes. Note that the IRS could delay your refund while verifying the information.

You’ll also need your adjusted gross income (AGI) from the previous year to sign and file your tax return.

Do I have to pay taxes on unemployment income?

Yes, unemployment benefits received in 2022 are taxable. The exemptions that applied to income tax on unemployment benefits granted under the American Rescue Plan only applied to benefits collected in 2020. 

If you’re currently or have been recently unemployed and can’t afford to pay your taxes, make sure to file a return anyway. There is a penalty for filing late or neglecting to file at all. You can request an installment agreement to help you pay taxes over time. You can do this online through the IRS website, by filling out Form 9465, or by calling the IRS for help.

How do I file taxes?

You can file online yourself, potentially for free, or visit a tax professional.

If your adjusted gross income (AGI) was less than $73,000 in 2022, you might qualify to prepare and file your federal return, and maybe your state return, at no cost through one of the IRS partners, regardless of how complicated your tax situation is. Also, most active duty military qualify for free filing.

If your income exceeds $73,000, or you’re not interested in the platforms offered in partnership with the IRS, check out our list of the best tax software to use this year.

After filing out the required forms, your tax preparer will calculate whether you owe additional income tax or you’re getting a refund. If you don’t pay what you owe by April 18 (or request an extension), penalties may apply.

When will I get my tax refund?

Online filing remains the most efficient process, and is recommended by the IRS, which usually issues refunds to most people who e-file their returns within a few weeks. In general, the IRS assures filers that the quickest — and safest — method for getting a federal refund is filing electronically and opting for direct deposit.

If your tax return was flagged by the IRS for errors, manual processing, or fraud detection, your refund could take longer.

To find out when your refund is coming once tax season begins, use the tracking tool on the IRS website beginning 24 hours after e-filing your return. You’ll need your exact refund amount, Social Security number or taxpayer ID number, and filing status

How do I prevent tax fraud?

It’s easy to procrastinate filing your taxes, but putting it off makes you more vulnerable to fraud. If a scammer gets hold of your Social Security number and you haven’t filed a tax return yet, they could easily file a fake one in your name to get a refund.

Scam calls are ubiquitous during tax season. Keep in mind that if the IRS needs to get in touch with a taxpayer, it sends a letter — not an email, not a phone call, and definitely not a message over social media. Especially when it’s investigating cases of tax fraud or performing an audit.

Never return a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Instead, individuals should call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040, and businesses should call 1-800-829-4933.

The US Department of Justice says the IRS never discusses personal tax issues through unsolicited emails or texts, or over social media. Always be wary if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS who says you owe money.

If you receive an unexpected and suspicious email from the IRS, forward it to [email protected].

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