Steps to Take Now to Get a Jump on Your Taxes

Tax planning is for everyone. Get ready today to file your 2022 federal income tax return. Planning ahead can help you file an accurate return and avoid processing delays that can slow your tax  refund.

Steps you can take now to make tax filing easier in 2023

Use online account to securely access the latest information available about your federal tax account and see information from your most recently filed tax return.

You can:

  •  View your tax owed, payments, and payment plans
  • Make payments and apply for payment plans
  • Access your tax records
  • Sign Power of Attorney authorizations electronically from your tax professional
  • Manage your communication preferences from the IRS

Organized tax records make preparing a complete and accurate tax return easier. It helps you avoid errors that lead to processing delays that slow your refund and may also help you find overlooked deductions or credits.

Wait to file until you have your tax records including:

Notify the IRS if your address changes and notify the Social Security Administration of a legal name change.

Remember, most income is taxable. This includes:

An ITIN only needs to be renewed if it has expired and is needed on a U.S. federal tax return. If you do not renew an expiring or expired ITIN, the IRS can still accept your tax return, but it may delay processing it or delay tax credits owed to you, such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can impact when you get your tax refund.

If your ITIN wasn't included on a U.S. federal tax return at least once for tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021, your ITIN will expire on December 31, 2022.

As a reminder, ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, or 88 have expired. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99, IF assigned before 2013, have expired. If you previously submitted a renewal application and it was approved, you do not need to renew again.

The IRS processes requests in the order they were received. Currently, IRS is working ITIN applications received in July 2022. Your patience is appreciated. You will be notified once your ITIN is assigned or if additional information is needed. 

Consider adjusting your withholding if you owed taxes or received a large refund when you filed. Changing your withholding can help you avoid a tax bill or let you keep more money each payday. Credit amounts may change each year, so visit IRS.gov and use the Interactive Tax Assistant to identify whether you qualify for any tax credits that may call for a withholding adjustment. Life changes – getting married or divorced, welcoming a child, or taking on a second job - may also mean changing withholding.

Use the Tax Withholding Estimator to help you determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from your paycheck. This tool on IRS.gov will help determine if you need to adjust your withholding and submit a new Form W-4 to your employer.

Consider estimated tax payments. If you receive a substantial amount of non-wage income like self-employment income, investment income, taxable Social Security benefits and in some instances, pension and annuity income you should make quarterly estimated tax payments, with the last payment for 2022 due on January 17, 2023.

Log in to your online account to make a payment online or go to IRS.gov/payments.

The fastest way for you to get your tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit. Direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check. Get your routing and account number by signing into your online banking account or contacting your bank.

Don't have a bank account? Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool. If you are a Veteran, see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.

Prepaid debit cards or mobile apps may allow direct deposit of tax refunds. They must have routing and account numbers associated with them that can be entered on your tax return. Check with the mobile app provider or financial institution to confirm which numbers to use. 

Direct deposit also avoids the possibility that a refund check could be lost or stolen or returned to the IRS as undeliverable.  

What's new and what to consider when you file in 2023

Change is effective Jan. 1, 2022.  All third-party payment platforms are required to issue Forms 1099-K when payments to merchants for goods and services exceed $600.

What is reported on a 1099-K? If you accepted $600 or more in 2022:

  • by payment cards for good and services, you will receive one Form 1099-K for the total amount of the payments from each payment card.
  • from a third-party payment app, you will receive one Form 1099-K from that organization for the total amount.

When will I get the 1099-K and what should I do with it? 2022 Forms 1099-K must be furnished to the payee by January 31, 2023. Use this information return with your other tax records to determine your correct tax. 

What is not reported on a 1099-K? Money received as a gift or reimbursement of a share of a meal or rent should not be reported on a 1099-K. Payments should indicate whether they are personal to family and friends or a business transaction for goods and services. 

What if the information is wrong? If the information is incorrect on the 1099-K, contact the payer immediately, whose name appears in the upper left corner on the form. Keep a copy of all correspondence with the payer with your records. If you cannot get the form corrected, you may attach an explanation of the error to your tax return and report your income correctly.

The IRS cannot correct inaccurate Forms 1099-K.

Changes in the number of dependents, employment or self-employment income and divorce, among other factors, may affect your tax-filing status and refund for 2023.

No additional stimulus payments.  Unlike 2020 and 2021, there were no new stimulus payments for 2022 so taxpayers should not expect to get an additional payment in their 2023 tax refund.

Some tax credits return to 2019 levels. Several tax credits, including the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Dependent Care Credit will revert to pre-COVID levels. This means that taxpayers will likely receive a significantly smaller refund compared with the previous tax year. For a comparison, those who got $3,600 per dependent in 2021 for the CTC will get $2,000 for the 2022 tax year. Similarly, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in 2021 will now get $500 in 2022. And the Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 in 2022 instead of $8,000 in 2021. Visit Credits and Deductions for more details.

No above-the-line charitable deductions. During COVID, taxpayers were able to take up to a $600 charitable donation tax deduction on their tax returns. However, in 2022, this deduction will return to pre-COVID rules, which will not allow those who take a standard deduction to make an above-the-line deduction for charitable donations.

More people may be eligible for the Premium Tax Credit.
For tax year 2022, taxpayers may qualify for temporarily expanded eligibility for the premium tax credit. Remember that simply meeting the income requirements does not mean you're eligible for the premium tax credit. You must also meet the other eligibility criteria.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 changes the eligibility rules to claim a tax credit for clean vehicles. More details about clean vehicles will be available in coming months.

Many different factors can affect the timing of your refund after we receive your return. Although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills.

Identity Theft and refund fraud. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer. The IRS, along with its partners in the tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud.

IRS cannot issue EITC and ACTC refunds before mid-February. Refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) can't be issued before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund − even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC.

Returns requiring manual review. Some returns, filed electronically or on paper, may need manual review delaying the processing if our systems detect a possible error, the return is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud. Some of these situations require us to correspond with taxpayers, but some do not. This work does require special handling by an IRS employee so, in these instances, it may take the IRS more than the normal 21 days to issue any related refund. In those cases where IRS is able to correct the return without corresponding, the IRS will send an explanation to the taxpayer.

Bookmark IRS.gov resources and online tools

Make your first stop IRS.gov where you'll find online tools to help you get the information you need. The tools are easy-to-use and available 24 hours a day. Millions of people use them to help file and pay taxes, find information about their accounts, and get answers to tax questions.

Use IRS Free File

Beginning in January 2023, almost everyone can file electronically for free on IRS.gov or with the IRS2Go app. The IRS Free File program, available only through IRS.gov, offers eligible taxpayers brand-name tax preparation software packages to use at no cost. Some of the Free File packages also offer free state tax return preparation. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits and exemptions for you.

If you're comfortable preparing your own taxes, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, regardless of your income, to file your tax returns either by mail or online.

Use MilTax if you're a service member or qualifying veteran

Members of the armed forces and some veterans may take advantage of MilTax. This free tax resource is available for the military community, offered through the Department of Defense. There are no income limits. MilTax includes tax preparation and electronic filing software, personalized support from tax consultants and current information about filing taxes. It's designed to address the realities of military life – including deployments, combat and training pay, housing and rentals and multi-state filings. Eligible taxpayers can use MilTax to electronically file a federal tax return and up to three state returns for free.

Use the VITA Locator Tool

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. The VITA Locator Tool. Will help you locate an open VITA site near you.

Find a tax professional

Choosing a Tax Professional offers information to help you select a tax professional. There are various types of tax return preparers, including enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys and some who don't have a professional credential.

The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help you find preparers in your area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.

Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA)

Beginning in January 2023 use the ITA to find out if life event changes make you eligible for credits you didn't qualify for in the past. The ITA is a tool that provides answers to many tax law questions. It can determine if a type of income is taxable, if you're eligible to claim certain credits, or if you can deduct expenses on your tax return. It also provides answers for general questions, such as determining your filing status, if you can claim dependents, or if you have to file a tax return.

After you file, check the status of your refund by going to IRS.gov and clicking on Where's My Refund? The status of your refund will be available within 24 hours after the IRS accepts your e-filed tax return. The Where's My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day.

File electronically and choose Direct Deposit for your tax refund – it's the fastest and safest way to receive your money. Electronically filed tax returns are received within 24 hours, and paper tax returns take weeks. If you file a paper return, you can still choose direct deposit.

There's never been a better time to join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. VITA/TCE volunteers provide free tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers. With many people experiencing financial changes this year, additional volunteers are needed to assist them. In response, the IRS has new ways to make volunteering easier.

Some sites will now give volunteers the option to assist taxpayers virtually rather than the face-to-face assistance. This allows volunteers to help taxpayers complete their returns over the phone or online. Some volunteers may conduct a quality review with the taxpayer before the tax return is e-filed with the IRS. Virtual volunteering is a great option for new volunteers, since they can ask experienced volunteers for help while completing tax returns.

Visit IRS.gov/volunteers to learn more and sign up. After signing up, you'll receive more information about attending a virtual orientation.

Link & Learn Taxes is a web-based training program for volunteers. It prepares VITA and TCE partners and volunteers to provide quality tax return preparation services in their local communities. This fun, interactive course teaches you to accurately prepare income tax returns for individuals, and you can obtain volunteer certification along the way at your own pace.

Publication 5533, Why You Should Create an IRS Online AccountPDF

Publication 5533-A, How to Submit Authorizations Using Tax Pro Account and Online AccountPDF

Publication 5136, IRS Services GuidePDF 
Shows where to find help on IRS.gov

Publication 5348, Get Ready to FilePDF, Get ready to file your federal income tax return with these preparation tips

Publication 5349, Year-round tax planning is for everyonePDF, Explains that what you do now may affect any tax you could owe or refund you may expect next year