IR-2023-11, January 23, 2023 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service kicked off the 2023 tax filing season with a focus on improving service and a reminder to taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit to speed refunds and avoid delays. Following a successful opening of its systems today, the IRS is now accepting and processing 2022 tax returns. Most of the individual tax returns for the 2022 tax year are expected to be filed before the April 18 tax deadline. Taxpayers have until April 18 to file their taxes this year, but some taxpayers living overseas and disaster victims may have later filing deadlines. Alabama, California and Georgia storm victims now have until May 15 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. "Following months of hard work, we successfully opened our processing systems today to start this year's tax season," said IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O'Donnell. "Getting to this point is a monumental effort not only for the IRS but also for the nation's tax community. The hard-working employees of the IRS look forward to serving taxpayers this filing season, and I personally want to thank them, and all of the tax and payroll community for their dedication to making tax time smoother for the nation." O'Donnell also noted that taxpayers can count on IRS delivering improved service this filing season. As part of the August passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS has more than 5,000 new telephone assistors and added more in-person staff to help taxpayers. "We continue to increase IRS staffing to help provide taxpayers with the information and assistance they need," said O'Donnell. "The IRS reminds taxpayers to take some important steps when filing their tax returns for a smoother process. They should gather their necessary tax records, file an accurate return electronically and choose direct deposit to get their refunds faster." Taxpayers who electronically file a tax return with no issues and choose direct deposit should still receive their refund within 21 days of the date they file – similar to previous years. Due to tax law changes such as the elimination of the Advance Child Tax Credit and no Recovery Rebate Credit this year to claim pandemic-related stimulus payments, many taxpayers may find their refunds somewhat lower this year. IRS tips for a smooth filing season Fastest refunds by e-filing, avoiding paper returns: To avoid refund delays, IRS encourages taxpayers to file their tax return electronically with direct deposit instead of submitting a paper tax return. Taxpayers may use IRS Free File on IRS.gov, other tax software or a trusted tax professional. Members of the armed forces and qualifying veterans can file their federal tax return and up to three state tax returns for free electronically using MilTax, a Department of Defense program. Avoid delays; file an accurate tax return: Taxpayers should make sure they're ready to file an accurate and complete tax return. This can help avoid processing delays, extensive refund delays and later IRS notices. Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit refunds: Taxpayers may file their returns beginning Jan. 23, but the IRS cannot issue refunds involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. The law provides the extra time to help the IRS prevent fraudulent refunds. "Where's My Refund?" on IRS.gov should show an updated status by Feb. 18 for most EITC and ACTC filers. The IRS expects most of these refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards by Feb. 28 if people chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Avoid phone delays; online resources best option for help: IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option for help. IRS assisted phone lines continue to receive a high volume of calls. To avoid delays, check IRS.gov first for refund information and answers to tax questions. Setting up an Online Account on IRS.gov can also help taxpayers get information quickly. IRS Online Account was recently expanded to allow more people to gain access. The Interactive Tax Assistant can also help taxpayers get answers to many tax questions online at any time. Online options for free help; answers to common questions: Use IRS.gov to get answers to tax questions, check a refund status or pay taxes. No wait time or appointment needed — online tools and resources are available 24 hours a day. Other free options for help: IRS Free File is available to any person or family who earned $73,000 or less in 2022. For taxpayers who are comfortable completing their own tax forms, Free File Fillable Forms may be a good option. MilTax is a free tax resource available to the military community, and it's offered through the Department of Defense. Qualified taxpayers can also find free one-on-one tax preparation help nationwide through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. 2021 tax returns still being processed: Taxpayers can check Where's My Amended Return? to find out the status of their tax year 2021 Form 1040-X and can still file their 2022 tax returns even if their 2021 tax returns haven't been processed. Visit the IRS Operations page for more information on what to expect. April 18 tax deadline: This year, the filing deadline is April 18 for most taxpayers, but automatic six-month extensions of time to file are available for anyone for free. See Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return for instructions. Taxpayers should be aware that filing Form 4868 only extends the time to file tax returns. Those who owe taxes should still pay by April 18 to avoid late payment penalties.