WASHINGTON, D.C. (TIP): With the nation’s tax season rapidly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers there are important steps they can take now to help “get ready” to file their 2023 federal tax return. This is the first in a series of special IRS “Get Ready” reminders to help taxpayers prepare for the upcoming tax filing season in early 2024. A little advance work now can help people have the paperwork and information ready to file their tax returns quickly and accurately. As part of this education effort, the IRS has a special page outlining items taxpayers can look into now to get ready to file their 2023 tax returns.
Get helpful information to file through IRS Online Account
Taxpayers can create or access their Online Account at IRS.gov/account. New users should have their photo identification ready.
With an Online Account taxpayers can access a variety of helpful information to help them during the 2024 filing season, including:
View key data from the most recently filed tax return, including adjusted gross income.
Get account transcripts.
Sign power of attorney and tax information authorizations.
Receive notices electronically.
Get email notifications for new account information or activity.
Make and view payments.
View, create or change payment plans.
See the amount owed by year.
Gather, organize and update tax records
Organizing tax records makes it easier to prepare a complete and accurate tax return. It helps avoid errors that can slow down refunds and may also help find overlooked deductions or tax credits.
Most income is taxable, including unemployment compensation, refund interest and income from the gig economy and digital assets. Taxpayers should gather Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, and other income documents before filing their return.
Don’t forget to notify the IRS of an address change and be sure to notify the Social Security Administration of any legal name changes as soon as possible.
Be sure paychecks have enough tax withheld; time running out to make 2023 changes
The Tax Withholding Estimator is a tool on IRS.gov that can help taxpayers determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from their paychecks. This tool can be helpful if an earlier tax return resulted in tax owed or a large refund. And for those that have life changes or events such as getting married or divorced or welcoming a child, or for those taking on a second job or managing self-employment income, it can help calculate estimated tax payments. To change federal tax withholding, taxpayers will need to update their withholding with their employer, either online or by submitting a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.
But to make adjustments in time to affect 2023 tax withholding, taxpayers need to act quickly. Only a few pay periods remain in the year, and payroll systems need time to make withholding changes.
Speed refunds with direct deposit
Direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to get a tax refund. Taxpayers can make direct deposits to bank accounts, banking apps and reloadable debit cards, but will need to provide the routing and account information associated with the account. If the routing and account number cannot be located, taxpayers should contact their bank, financial institution or app provider.
Taxpayers requesting a paper check are much more likely to report an issue getting their refund because of non-receipt, forgery, theft or checks returned for a bad address, compared to taxpayers using direct deposit.
Need a bank account? Taxpayers without a bank account can learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or with a credit union through the National Credit Union Locator tool. Veterans can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program to find participating banks and credit unions that offer free accounts.
Volunteer to help eligible taxpayers file their tax returns
The IRS and its community partners are looking for people around the country interested in becoming IRS-certified volunteers. Join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs and help eligible taxpayers with free tax preparation. Visit IRS.gov/volunteers to learn more and sign up. After signing up, volunteers will receive more information about attending a virtual orientation.
Bookmark IRS.gov resources and online tools
Everyone should make IRS.gov their first stop. Here they’ll find online tools to help get them the information they need. The tools are easy-to-use and available 24 hours a day. Millions of people use them to help file and pay taxes, track their refunds, find information about their accounts and get answers to tax questions.
Tips for choosing a tax pro
Tax professionals play an essential role for taxpayers and the nation’s tax system. There are many types of tax return preparers, including certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and many others who don’t have a professional credential. Preparers should be skilled in tax preparation and accurately filing income tax returns. Taxpayers trust them with their most personal information.
Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, choosing the wrong tax return preparer hurts taxpayers financially every year. Be sure to check tips for choosing a tax preparer and how to avoid unethical “ghost” return preparers.
People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.