Tax time is upon us.
The IRS released the official start date for the 2022 tax season, which kicks off Jan. 23.
Whether you're anticipating a refund or dreading the bill, you'll want to mark some important dates on your calendar.
First, the deadline for employers to send out W-2 tax documents is Jan. 31. You know, those little sheets of paper showcasing your wages and tax -- all the money that's been taken out of your paycheck.
But you still have a few months to figure out how you'll file your taxes.
This year, the IRS is giving most taxpayers until April 18, 2023, to submit 2022 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed.
When Are Taxes Due in 2023?
That's when you need to file your 2022 tax returns.
Fun fact: The universal "Tax Day" is April 15. But the deadline was pushed to April 18 because April 15 falls on a Saturday.
So why not April 17? Because Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C., where the IRS is located, takes place on Monday, April 17.
California storm victims have until May 15 to file their federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. You can find more information about eligibility in this IRS news release.
If that extension doesn't apply to you, you need to e-file or postmark your individual tax return by midnight April 18.
Military members stationed overseas over the tax deadline receive an automatic two-month filing extension.
What Filing Form Should I Use?
You'll need to use Form 1040 and pay any taxes you might owe.
In the past, taxpayers could choose from two other forms -- 1040EZ and 1040-A -- but those forms were phased out in 2019 following an IRS overhaul of 1040.
So, that simplifies things. You no longer need to worry about picking the right tax form. Just file Form 1040 plus any schedules that apply.
If you're using tax preparation software, like TurboTax, it will walk you through the entire tax filing process. The software will help you fill out all the fields and suggest whether you should itemize or take the standard deduction. (Most Americans go for the standard deduction.)
Be Prepared for a Smaller Refund
Many taxpayers enjoyed robust tax refunds the last two years, thanks to several measures rolled out during the pandemic.
However, the IRS is warning taxpayers that refunds may be smaller in 2023 as tax credits return to 2019 levels.
These changes will especially affect people who claim the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.
- Filers who received $3,600 per dependent in tax year 2021 for the Child Tax Credit will, if still eligible, receive $2,000 for the 2022 tax year.
- For the Earned Income Tax Credit, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in tax year 2021 will now get $500.
- The Child and Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 instead of $8,000 in tax year 2021.
Another pandemic-era exception is also going away: Above-the-line charitable donations.
During COVID, taxpayers could take up to a $600 charitable donation tax deduction on their returns -- even if they didn't itemize.
That's going away. If you're like most Americans and take the standard deduction, donating to nonprofits won't boost your refund or lower your tax bill like it did the last two years.
3 More Tax Deadlines that Land on April 18
Besides filing your individual return, you need to do these things by the April 18 deadline:
1. File an Extension.
Need more time to file your taxes? You need to file for an extension by April 18.
You can find out more information about how to request an extension on the IRS' website.
Reasons for extensions include emergencies, extended vacations, overloaded work schedules and utter unpreparedness.
The extension runs six months. If you opt for this, you'll need to mark Oct. 16, 2023, on your calendar. That's your new deadline.
While an extension gives you more time to file your tax return, your tax bill is still due on April 18, 2023.
2. File Your Estimated Taxes.
For the self-employed: You're required to pay estimated taxes every quarter.
You must file these four times a year: The last payment for the 2022 tax year is due on Jan. 17.
The first payment for the 2023 tax year is due April 18, followed by other payments on June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 16, 2024.
3. Make Final 2022 IRA Contributions.
Got that retirement fund going? This is your last day to make a contribution to your IRA accounts, including traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and health savings accounts.
Rachel Christian is a certified educator in personal finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.