Tax Tips for Filing Your 2023 Tax Return: The countdown to the 2024 tax filing season has begun, with the IRS set to kick off the acceptance of 2023 returns on January 29.
Top Tax Tips for Streamlining Your 2023 Federal Tax Filing in the U.S
To assist you in optimizing your refund and streamlining the process, here’s a breakdown of essential Tax Tips for Filing Your 2023 Tax Return:
File Early, File Electronically
Your ticket to the fastest refund lies in filing your return early and opting for electronic filing. E-filing, especially when paired with direct deposit, expedites the refund process.
While the IRS has made strides in processing paper returns, delays may still occur. Note that certain credits, like the earned income tax credit or refundable child credit, could result in delayed refunds, particularly for paper filers.
Guard Against Identity Theft
Filing your taxes early not only expedites your refund but also serves as a safeguard against tax-related identity theft. Cybercriminals typically file fraudulent returns early in the season to beat legitimate taxpayers.
Consider applying for an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), a six-digit number assigned by the IRS for added identity verification. Remember, the IP PIN is valid for one calendar year, so you need to apply for a new one annually.
Free E-Filing Options
If you’re looking to e-file without incurring any costs, the IRS offers three free options:
- Free File Program: Available for taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $79,000 or less (some firms may set lower AGI requirements).
- Free File Fillable Forms: Ideal for individuals with higher AGIs who are well-versed in tax law changes and comfortable preparing their own returns.
- Direct File Pilot Program: A new initiative providing a step-by-step guide, real-time online support, and eligibility for certain filers in specific states. This option is currently available to federal and state government employees in 12 states, with plans for expansion in March.
Beware of IRS Impersonation Scams
Tax season is prime time for IRS scams, so be on high alert. If you receive calls, emails, or texts claiming to be from the IRS, do not respond, click on links, or share personal information.
This caution extends to tax professionals who may be targeted for phishing scams. Stay vigilant and report any suspicious emails to the IRS phishing team.
As you embark on your tax-filing journey for 2024 armed with these insights, remember that a proactive approach, coupled with smart choices, can make the process smoother and more secure. Happy filing!