The official start to the 2023 tax season is Jan. 23, 2023, announced the Internal Revenue Service. That’s when the agency will begin accepting and processing 2022 tax year returns.

The agency also announced the filing deadline for 2023 will be April 18, with people receiving an extra three days to file this year.  

Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 16 to file.

Improved Customer Service

Thanks to funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS anticipates making significant improvements to phone service this year for taxpayers and tax professionals. 

However, the IRS emphasizes it’s important to note that call volumes remain at historically high levels. The IRS urges people to visit IRS.gov for the information they need. For faster access to information, the agency urges people to start with IRS.gov.  

Taxpayers can find online tools at IRS.gov that are easy-to-use and available anytime. Millions of people use them to help file and pay taxes, find information about their accounts, determine eligibility for tax credits and get answers to tax questions.

The Interactive Tax Assistant provides answers to many tax law questions. For example, it can help people determine if a type of income is taxable, or if they can deduct certain expenses. It also helps people find out if life event changes make them eligible for credits they didn’t qualify for in the past and provides answers for general questions, such as determining filing status, if someone can claim dependents or if they have to file a tax return.

Free Services

The IRS has a variety of free services available to help people. The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs also offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. People can also get help from trusted tax professionals, commercially available tax software as well as IRS Free File, which provides free electronic filing of tax returns.

The IRS’s Free File program, available only at IRS.gov, allows taxpayers who made $73,000 or less in 2022 to file their taxes electronically for free using brand-name software provided by commercial tax filing companies. Free File Fillable forms, a part of this effort, is available to any income level and provides free electronic forms that people fill out and file themselves also at no cost.

For Speedy Refunds  

There are important steps people can take to help ensure their tax return and refund are processed without delays. 

The most important is to file electronically with direct deposit. This is still the fastest and easiest way to file and receive a refund. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns wherever possible.

Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers with their return. Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.

Most refunds should be issued in less than 21 days. EITC refunds for many will be available starting Feb. 28.

Taxpayers should check “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov for their personalized refund status.