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If you have yet to file your 2023 income tax return, the deadline is April 15, unless you are granted an extension for various reasons. One way to get an extension is to file for an automatic six-month extension by April 15, which gives you more time to file your federal income tax return but does not extend the deadline to pay taxes owed. Another group of individuals who do not have to file by Tax Day are those living or doing business in an area that was declared a federal disaster area in 2023. Those in Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. also have extended deadlines due to state holidays observed in those areas.
The IRS has already received over 80 million income tax returns for 2023, which is only about half of what is expected to be filed. To ensure your return is error-free and quickly processed, it is recommended to check last year’s return for necessary documents and tally up any major life changes that may affect your tax situation. Additionally, ensure that all key documents, such as Forms W-2 and 1099, are included, and double-check details such as your name, Social Security number, and bank account information if opting for direct deposit.
Despite talks in Congress about a bipartisan tax bill that may include an expansion of the 2023 child tax credit, nothing has materialized yet. If any changes are made, the IRS has stated it will update the tax returns of eligible individuals who have already filed. It is also possible to make a last-minute deduction by contributing to a traditional IRA by April 15 to reduce your tax liability for 2023.
The Justice Department warns against using “unscrupulous” tax preparers, as they may lead to penalties and interest on unpaid taxes. Signs of a scammer include promising excessive refunds or not providing necessary documentation. Taxpayers should be cautious of abusive tax avoidance schemes and other scam efforts by preparers. The average tax refund as of March 22 was $3,081, with most individuals receiving their refunds within 21 days of filing. Those expecting a refund can track its progress through the IRS tool Where’s My Refund.
If you did not file a return for 2020, you have until May 17 to do so and claim any refunds owed to you. The IRS reports over $1 billion in refunds are waiting for those who did not file for that tax year. Low- and moderate-income earners may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which was worth up to $6,660 in 2020 for those with qualifying children. Failure to file a 2020 return by May 17 may result in forfeiting any refunds owed. Refunds for 2020 may be withheld if 2021 or 2022 returns have not been filed, and refunded amounts may be applied to unpaid debts such as child support or student loans.

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