On January 23, the IRS opened the 2023 individual income tax return filing season for accepting and processing returns for the 2022 tax year.
If you typically file closer to the mid-April deadline (or if you file for an extension), you may want to consider filing your taxes earlier this year. And it’s not just about getting a head start on meeting deadlines—filing early can also protect you from tax identity theft.
Here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes this year.
How does tax identity theft work?
A tax identity theft scam typically involves a thief using another person’s personal information to file a fraudulent tax return early in the season to claim a substantial refund. The actual taxpayer will not discover the identity theft until, after filing their own taxes, the return is rejected by the IRS because the same Social Security number has already been used to file taxes that year.
While the taxpayer should ultimately be able to prove the legitimacy of their return, the process can be frustrating, time-consuming, and potentially delay a refund.
The best way to protect against having your tax identity stolen? Filing early. If you file first, the IRS will reject the fraudulent tax return.
What are the deadlines for this year?
While the tax filing deadline is typically April 15 of each year, the deadline for most taxpayers this year is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. This is because April 15 falls on a weekend, and the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day holiday falls on Monday, April 17.
Those requesting an extension will have until October 16, 2023, to file their taxes. Note that the extension to file a return does not grant an extension to pay taxes. You should still estimate and pay any taxes owed by the regular deadline to avoid penalties.
When will I receive my tax documents?
Before filing your tax return, you will need to receive all your Form W-2s and 1099s. The deadline for employers to issue 2022 W-2s and for businesses to issue 2022 1099s is January 31.
If you have not received your W-2 or 1099 by February 1, you should contact the entity that should have issued it. If that doesn’t help, contact a professional tax advisor to determine how to proceed.
Should I file early?
In addition to protecting yourself from tax identity theft, early filing has advantages. The sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you will receive a refund. The IRS anticipates that most refunds will be issued within 21 days, with this time potentially being shorter if you file electronically and receive your refund via direct deposit.
Another advantage of direct deposit is that it reduces the chances of a refund check getting lost, stolen, stuck in postal delays, or returned to the IRS as undeliverable.
Plan ahead for your taxes with us
Getting ahead of your taxes can be complicated, so it’s best to consult with a professional to ensure you have everything in place for a successful tax filing. Contact us to work with an experienced tax professional for your 2022 taxes.