Monday, January 23, 2023 is the official start of tax filing season. For Justus Lowe, it will be time to file his taxes.
He said, “This is my first year without dependents. The first year I’m paying my taxes on my own.”
So he decided to seek help from Liberty Tax. Maybe a smart move. Office owner Gina Pinto says some of the tax changes are confusing to some people.
“This year the IRS made a lot of changes because of the end of the pandemic benefit,” she said.
She says the changes are already leaving some of her customers with smaller refunds.
“The child tax credit is back to $2,000. Last year it was $3,600,” Pinto said.
With the IRS facing staffing shortages for the third year in a row in addition to continuing problems and delays with the postal service, tax preparers say this year it’s more important than ever to get your paperwork done as soon as possible.
Mark Steber of Jackson Hewitt says there are three valuable lessons learned from the past three years. Firstly, paper tax return filing should be avoided as it leads to delay.
“It was slow even before the pandemic and it certainly hasn’t accelerated with the staffing challenges with the IRS,” he said.
Second, file your tax return electronically. His third tip, use direct deposit for your refund.
“Gets there fast, gets there safe,” he said.
Mark also suggests organizing documents into four folders.
“I like my income stuff, paper clipped together. I like the deductions and credit information stuff that you spend on your business,” he said.
The third folder is information related to life changes, such as marriage or a new baby. The last folder is for other miscellaneous items.
“Ask your pro, there might be a tax break,” says Mark.
It all helps whether you’re filing for yourself or at the preparer’s office.
One last tip, filing does not mean paying. You are allowed to file taxes now, but you can wait until April to pay.