The last few years have been challenging for taxpayers. With the introduction of pandemic tax relief and new tax laws, filing taxes was anything but simple. Even tax professionals had a difficult time keeping up with all the shifting deadlines and changing criteria. But as we head into 2024, things finally seem to be settling down.
The IRS hired an additional 5,000 employees to increase customer service. This resulted in a dramatic increase in answered calls in 2023, going from 15% in 2022 to nearly 87% this year. They’ve also reopened several Taxpayer Assistance Centers, helping 1.6 million people with their taxes in 2023.
Barring another government shutdown, the 2024 tax season should be fairly straightforward. But before you start working on your tax return, be sure to test your knowledge by taking our short tax quiz.
Three Things You Should Know About Filing Taxes
Tax season officially opens on January 29, 2024. Now is the time to start preparing to file your return. Although there are tons of tips available on when, where, and how to file, these three tips are at the top of our list.
1. Request a Tax Filing Extension If Needed
If you know you will be unable to meet the April 15 filing deadline, don’t wait until the last minute to submit your filing extension request. It’s all too easy to get busy and forget, which can lead to a failure-to-file penalty and interest fees. You can request an extension online for free. This gives you until October 15 to file your return, but any taxes owed will still need to be paid by April 15. If you can’t pay in full, apply for a payment plan or explore other tax relief options.
2. Use IRS Free File When Possible
Don’t waste money on tax software programs if you have a simple return and an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less. IRS Free File lets you prepare your federal income tax return at no cost. Their online, guided tax preparation software is safe and easy to use. If your income exceeds $73,000, you can still file for free using the self-guided Free File Fillable Forms.
3. Complicated Taxes? Work With a Professional
Even the savviest taxpayers sometimes need help with preparing their tax returns. Consider working with a tax professional if any of the following apply:
- You have a mix of income from personal earnings, business dealings, or investments.
- There’s been a big change in your financial situation due to marriage, divorce, retirement, or another life event.
- You invest in cryptocurrencies or gamble professionally.
- The IRS is sending you notices or letters indicating that you’re being audited or have unpaid tax debt.
If you need help with your taxes, call Tax Defense Network at 855-476-6920 for a free consultation and quote.