How to file your taxes in 2023 before the deadline

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If you’re wondering how to file your taxes for the 2022 tax year before it’s too late, you’ll be glad to know you still have some time. This year’s tax filing deadline is April 18, and if you apply for an extension, you have until October 18 to do so. On the 16th, 2023, file your 2022 tax return. Most states also require income tax returns to be filed by a similar deadline.

But no matter how much time is left until tax day, it’s critical to have a grasp of the process and the steps you need to take. Let’s learn more about how to file your taxes, what filing methods to consider, and what to do if you don’t have the money to pay your taxes by the due date.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially opened its doors to taxpayers looking to file 2022 returns on January 1. February 23, 2023. This means that individuals and families can file their taxes at any time from then on, although it is often wiser to wait until all required documents are in hand before starting.

Speaking of which, the IRS encourages everyone to get everything they need ready to file their taxes this year. “Filing an accurate tax return can help taxpayers avoid delays or delayed IRS notifications,” the agency wrote. Making sure your return is accurate before filing can save you time and reduce your need to file an amended return. possibility.

For the vast majority of Americans, the deadline to file 2022 individual federal tax returns or to file extensions is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. While the tax filing deadline is usually April 15, the deadline has been moved to April 18 this year due to the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day holiday.

Either way, please note that this deadline is not just for filing – it is the date by which all taxes owed Paid as well as. This is true even if you request an extension to file your actual tax return. In fact, the IRS is well aware that taxpayers must pay their estimated bills in full to avoid potential interest and penalties. So if you don’t have cash, you’ll need to pay your taxes with a credit card or apply for a payment plan with the IRS. Below is more information on these options.

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, there are several strategies you can use to file your tax return, some of which will help if you need to. For starters, individuals can turn to tax software, which can greatly speed up the process. Some of the best tax software programs even let consumers file basic returns for free.

For example, TurboTax lets you file your taxes on your own or with the assistance of a professional, with prices ranging from $0 for a self-guided basic return to $389 for full-service tax preparation assistance. You can also choose the Intermediate Tax Assistance Program, which helps you complete your tax returns on your own with the help of real-time assistance via live chat.

H&R Block offers a similar program with the option to file your own taxes or get help with filing your taxes online. The company’s free version, called H&R Block Free Online, also lets you file basic tax returns for free, but you can pay more for more complex returns or the help of a tax expert.

Other tax filing methods include:

  • IRS Free File is a public-private partnership between the IRS and various tax software companies that allows taxpayers to file online for free. Two different versions are available: a tax preparation guide for those with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $73,000 or less, and a free document completion form for those in higher tax brackets with an AGI over $73,000.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Advice for Seniors is an IRS program that provides basic tax preparation at no cost to eligible individuals.
  • The IRS’ Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, makes it possible to file tax returns the old-fashioned way: by mail. This filing method works whether you have basic returns or more complex returns, including reporting items such as capital gains and investment income.

Note that these tax filing methods are for individuals or families who file a basic tax return. However, the IRS provides additional filing information on its website for businesses and self-employed individuals, international taxpayers, and charities and nonprofits.

No matter how complicated your tax return is, there are some basic steps everyone should follow.

While the method you choose to file your taxes may vary based on your income and the complexity of your return, here are seven steps that anyone can follow.

Step 1: Gather your paperwork. Before you prepare to file your taxes, you should gather all the required documents. This can include your employer’s W-2 form, investment income and interest statements (1099 and 1099-INT forms), and charitable contributions and other write-off receipts (if you plan to itemize).

Step 2: Decide how to file. While you can file your tax return by mail, the IRS recommends filing online for faster processing and a faster return. You can also use the help of professionals, use tax preparation software or use time-honored pen and paper to file.

Step 3: Select the appropriate filing status. Your filing status will depend on whether you are single, married or head of household, as well as other less common tax situations. You’ll also need to declare any dependents — usually qualifying children or relatives — as part of your tax return.

Step 4: Determine if you are itemizing or taking the standard deductionThe standard deduction for 2022 is available to most taxpayers with a basic return, $25,900 for married couples filing jointly, and $12,950 for single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately.

Step 5: If you owe money, decide how to pay. If you did not receive a tax refund and owe money to the IRS for the 2022 tax year, you will need to pay taxes or apply for a payment plan. Also note that credit card payments can be made in many cases.

Step 6: Choose how you would like your refund to be refunded. If the IRS owes you money this year, you need to state how you want the money sent to you. Options include direct deposit to a bank account, a prepaid debit card, or a mobile app that supports direct deposit.

Step 7: Complete the process before tax day. File your tax return before your state’s tax deadline to avoid potential penalties and interest.

When you file your taxes, you can take advantage of many different tax credits, including the Child Tax Credit Advance. Another example is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is available to eligible low-income taxpayers. These and other tax credits can help you pay less federal or state taxes throughout the year if you qualify.

In general, when you go through the steps of filing your taxes online, you will learn what tax credits you may be eligible for. This is especially true if you use tax software, as these programs will ask you specific questions to make sure you get all the tax credits you qualify for.

For example, TurboTax searches for tax breaks and credits when you file, with the goal of helping you grow your tax refund. This type of help may be essential if you’re not sure which tax credits apply, such as if you have student loans or are in a low tax bracket.

If your goal is to get your tax refund as quickly as possible, you should know that the IRS recommends filing electronically and choosing direct deposit as your payment method. The agency also noted that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of the electronic filing date if no issues are found.

Some returns may require manual review, in which case the processing time may be longer. The IRS also reports that taxpayers will receive an explanation in the mail of the agency’s changes if issues are identified but can be resolved without corresponding fixes.

If you don't file your taxes on time, be sure to request an extension to avoid penalties and interest.

If you’re not ready to file your taxes and time is running out, the IRS has a formal extension process. However, the extension will only give you more time to file your tax return – any taxes you owe will still have to be paid by April 18, 2023.

To qualify for the deferment, taxpayers must take one of the following steps:

If you do not file your return or extension by the due date, the non-filing penalty is 5% of your unpaid tax for each month or part of the month, up to a maximum of 25% or your unpaid tax. If you owe money and don’t pay it by the due date, the nonpayment penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of the month you are late, up to a maximum of 25% of the tax you paid in any In either case, interest will be charged on the outstanding amount.

Notice how the monthly penalty for not filing is much higher than the penalty for not paying? That’s why it’s critical to file your return or request an extension by the deadline, even if you don’t have the money to pay what you owe.

However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the bill. Taxpayers who are unable to pay what they owe by April 18 should establish a payment plan with the IRS as soon as possible. There are two different ways to apply for a payment plan:

Note that taxes paid under a payment plan will be subject to interest based on the amount owed and the time it takes to pay in full. The rate is adjusted every three months and will vary based on your tax filing status. That’s why sometimes it makes sense to pay taxes on a credit card if you qualify for a credit card with a 0% introductory purchase rate.

Regardless, it’s important to make sure you get your taxes in order one way or another by the due date. Ignoring them won’t make them go away and will eventually lead to bigger problems. So if you can’t file or make payments on time, be sure to contact the IRS by April 18 to request an extension and/or payment plan before your taxes become an even bigger liability.

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