Guide to filing your taxes in 2023
For tax year 2022 some tax credits that were expanded in 2021 will return to 2019 levels. This means that affected taxpayers will likely receive a smaller refund compared with the previous tax year. include amounts for the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child and Dependent Care Credit.
- Those who got $3,600 per dependent in 2021 for the CTC will, if eligible, get $2,000 for the 2022 tax year.
- For the EITC, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in 2021 will now get a maximum of $530 in 2022.
- The Child and Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 in 2022 instead of $8,000 in 2021.
If you are one of the estimated 100 million people that are eligible to file your tax return for free you can keep all of your refund money by choosing one of three options.
In person full-service tax preparation
The IRS , AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, and The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs have operated for over 50 years. All these services use IRS certified tax preparers and meet high IRS quality standards. VITA/TCE and Tax-Aide sites offer free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their tax returns, including:
- People who generally make $60,000 or less
- Persons with disabilities; and
- Limited English-speaking taxpayers
- 60 years or older
Remote full-service tax preparation
- Your income is $73,000 or less.
- Your income is $66,000 or less.
- If your income is $73,000 or less, you can access guided return preparation assistance.
- If your income is greater than $73,000 you can access fillable forms to prepare your own return without assistance.
- Active-duty service members, spouses and dependent children of the eligible service members.
- Members of the National Guard and reserve — regardless of activation status.
- Retired and honorably discharged service members, including Coast Guard veterans, within 365 days of their discharge.
- A family member who is managing the affairs of an eligible service member while the service member is deployed.
- A designated family member of a severely-injured service member who is incapable of handling their own affairs.
- Eligible survivors of active-duty, National Guard and reserve deceased service members regardless of conflict or activation status.
- Some members of the Defense Department civilian expeditionary workforce.
About filing your tax return
If you have income below the standard deduction threshold for 2022, , you may not be required to file a return. However, you may want to file anyway because you may be able to take advantage of several features and benefits in the tax system which could reduce the amount you owe, or in many cases, especially for people with low incomes, increase the amount you could receive in a refund. Some key factors to make sure you look out for include:
If you worked during 2022 and had taxes withheld from your paycheck, you may be able to get some or all of that “over-withholding” back in your refund. Make sure you get W2 forms from all your employers and enter that information into the tax form when you fill it out.
The earned income tax credit
- Have worked and had under $59,187
- Have investment income below $10,000 in the tax year 2022
- Have a by the due date of your 2022 return (including extensions)
- Be a all year
- Not file Form 2555 (related to )
If you are eligible for this credit, the maximum amount you could receive is:
- $560 if you have no dependent children
- $3,733 if you have one qualifying child
- $6,164 if you have two qualifying children
- $6,935 if you have three or more qualifying children
The child tax credit (CTC)
The CTC is worth a maximum of $2,000 per qualifying child. Up to $1,400 is refundable. To be eligible for the CTC, you must have earned more than $2,500.
Access your tax refund quickly and safely
If you think you may receive a refund, here are some things to think about before you file your return:
- Electronically filing and choosing direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund. When using direct deposit, the IRS normally issues refunds within 21 days. Issuance of paper check refunds may take much longer.
- If you already have an account with a bank or credit union, make sure you have your information ready — including the account and routing number — when you file your tax return. You can provide that information on the tax form and the IRS will automatically deposit the funds into your account.
- If you have a prepaid card that accepts direct deposit, you can also receive your refund on the card. Check with your prepaid card provider to get the routing and account number assigned to the card before you file your return.
- You can learn more about choosing the right prepaid card here.
- If you don’t have a bank account or prepaid card, consider opening an account or getting a prepaid card. Many banks and credit unions offer accounts with low (or no) monthly maintenance fees when you have direct deposit or maintain a minimum balance. These accounts may limit the types of fees you can incur and may also offer free access to in-network automated teller machines (ATMs). You can often open these accounts easily online.
Watch out for scams
Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.