The 2023 Tax Season Has Begun – IRS Offers Tips to Accurately File Your Return

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By Ken Corbin
IRS Wage and Investment Commissioner and Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer
CL-23-02, February 17, 2023

During the past 37 years working at the IRS, I’ve had an insider’s view on what happens to a person’s tax return after they file. As I’ve moved through my IRS career and become commissioner of the area that oversees filing season, I’ve seen first-hand some easy, important steps that people can take to help get their refunds as quickly as possible and avoid potential delays as well as follow-up questions.

Planning for the nation's filing season is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams worked diligently to make certain the IRS was ready for the 2023 filing season currently taking place. 

This year, we expect more than 168 million individual tax returns to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the April 18 tax deadline. The 3 previous tax seasons were dramatically impacted by the pandemic, and we’ve learned many important lessons that have led to us taking additional steps for 2023 to improve our service for taxpayers.

As part of the August passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve hired more than 5,000 new telephone assistors, bringing our phone staffing to its highest level ever. We continue training these phone assistors to not only answer calls from taxpayers, but also provide help to tax professionals using the Practitioner Priority Line. In addition, we are expanding in-person assistance in our Taxpayer Assistance Centers by adding staff across the country. These resources are in addition to our ongoing work to provide people help through free tax return preparation programs. 

While much work remains after several difficult years, we anticipate a significantly better tax season for everyone this year than during the pandemic.

IRS employees are working hard to get refunds out quickly, but there are steps people can take to help with the process. More than ever, we are stressing the importance of filing electronically and choosing direct deposit because that’s the easiest way to file and the best way to get a refund quickly. We also want people to know how to receive the credits they are eligible for, so we are sharing information on how to receive credits and claim deductions when people file. Our goal is to provide information for the 2023 filing season that helps make tax season as easy as possible.

Here’s A Closer Look at how to have a smooth tax season.

Options to make tax filing easier and free in 2023

Tax planning is important for everyone, including people who traditionally don’t file a tax return. A special page on outlines steps taxpayers can take to prepare to file a 2022 tax return. The IRS and our tax partners are conducting outreach to urge people to think ahead about the information they will need to file complete and accurate tax returns, and to file a return even if they haven’t in the past so they can get all the credits for which they are eligible.   

Taxpayers have many choices when it comes to preparing their tax returns. We want you to know that there are free options for most taxpayers:  

What’s new and what to consider when filing in 2023

Most people only interact with the IRS when they file their individual income tax return. Some people haven’t had to file returns in the past but now need to because they’ve become eligible for tax credits, and filing a return is the only way to get those credits. When it comes to your taxes and refunds, it’s important to be well-informed and prepared, and we’re here to help. Some key points to consider:  

  • Filing a 2022 tax return, even if you don’t have to, could put money in your pocket. While people with income under a certain amount aren’t generally required to file a tax return, those who qualify for certain tax credits or already paid some federal income tax by having taxes withheld from a paycheck may qualify for a tax refund available only by filing a return. This can include students, part-time workers and retirees.
  • Electronic filing and direct deposit are key to getting the fastest refund. Filing electronically with direct deposit is important because it can help avoid refund delays. If you need a tax refund quickly, don’t file on paper. Most people with no issues on their tax return should receive their refund within 21 days of filing electronically if they choose direct deposit.
  • More people may be eligible for the Premium Tax Credit. For tax year 2022, taxpayers may still qualify for temporarily expanded eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit, or PTC. The PTC is for certain people who enroll, or whose family member enrolls, in a qualified health plan. Qualified taxpayers must file Form 8962 to compute and take the PTC on their tax return.
  • Eligibility rules changed to claim a tax credit for clean vehicles. Review the changes under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 to qualify for a Clean Vehicle Credit.
  • Refunds may be smaller in 2023. Several factors contribute to this. For example, taxpayers will not receive an additional stimulus payment with their tax refund because there were no Economic Impact Payments for 2022. In addition, taxpayers who don’t itemize and take the standard deduction won’t be able to deduct their charitable contributions like they were able to on their 2021 returns.
  • Use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to check on your refund status. Taxpayers can check Where's My Refund? on for a personalized refund status within 24 hours after the IRS accepts their e-filed tax return. The “Where's My Refund?” tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight.
  • Remember, refunds that include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) cannot be issued before mid-February. While the IRS began accepting returns Jan. 23, we cannot issue a refund that includes the EITC or the ACTC before mid-February. Why is that? The 2015 PATH Act law passed by Congress provided additional time to help the IRS process those returns and stop fraudulent refunds from being issued. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund – not just the portion associated with EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by Feb. 28 if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Use the “Where's My Refund?” tool to check on your refund status. Most early EITC/ACTC filers should see an updated status by Feb. 18.

Other tips to keep in mind

In addition, here are key things I want to highlight:

  • Remember that most income is taxable, even if you didn’t receive a year-end document such as Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income; Form 1099-INT, Interest Income; Form 1099-NEC, Non-employee Compensation. That includes interest received or money earned from the gig economy or digital assets.
  • There are many resources on that simplify your filing experience. To start with, I love to tell people about the easiest way to get answers to the most common tax questions: the Interactive Tax Assistant. It’s a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to your individual circumstances. Based on your input, it can determine if you must file a tax return, your filing status, if you can claim a dependent, if the type of income you have is taxable, if you're eligible to claim a credit, if you can deduct expenses and more.
  • When you are looking for your tax information, there is no need to call or visit the IRS. Instead, you can view or create an Online Account, which gives you a way to securely access your personal tax account information including your balance, payments, adjusted gross income and more. And now, it’s easier for more taxpayers to use an Online Account with our identity verification process. After you go through the identity verification process, you can also request a copy of the tax record you need online, including transcripts of past tax returns, tax account information, wage and income statements, and verification of non-filing letters.
  • If you’re self-preparing your taxes and filing electronically, you’ll have to sign and validate your tax return by entering your prior-year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or your prior-year Self-Select PIN. If you have your 2021 tax return, your AGI is on line 11 of the Form 1040. If you didn’t keep a copy of your 2021 tax return, you can log in to your Online Account to find your prior-year AGI.
  • We continue making substantial progress on previously filed tax returns. For those waiting on their 2021 tax return to be processed, you can still file your 2022 tax return when you are ready. Just make sure to enter $0 (zero dollars) for last year's AGI. At the end of January, we finished processing all individual tax returns received in 2022 unless there was an issue with the return.
  • Bookmark online tools and resources. A wealth of tax information and tools are available anytime on, so make it your first stop to get answers to tax questions, check a refund status or pay taxes. There’s no wait time or appointment needed; our online tools and resources are always available.
  • And last, I know that there are times when you just need to talk to us. You can make an appointment at an IRS local office to get help. Appointment times vary by tax issues and office locations. You can find the office closest to you with our Taxpayer Assistance Locator tool. Once you find your local office, see what services are available before scheduling an appointment. And, if you can’t visit us during our regular weekday hours, we’ll open more than 100 of our Taxpayer Assistance Centers nationwide one Saturday a month through May to offer in-person help without an appointment.

Everyone at the IRS is working hard to make this filing season run smoothly, and we appreciate the efforts of tax professionals and taxpayers in support of this effort. The last few years have been the most challenging I’ve seen during my time at the IRS, and I’m greatly encouraged by the start to this year’s tax season. Our employees are working hard to improve the taxpayer experience this year – and beyond.

On behalf of the employees of the IRS and the citizens of our great nation, thank you for filing.

Ken Corbin
IRS Wage and Investment Commissioner and Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer

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About the Author

Ken Corbin is IRS’ first Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer. In this role, he’s working to unify and expand efforts across the agency to improve the customer experience for all citizens interacting with the IRS.

Ken is also Commissioner of the Wage and Investment Division, with responsibility for 37,000 employees, located across the country, who are administering tax laws governing individual U.S. wage earners.


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