While many Americans were busy focusing on the upcoming Super Bowl on Monday morning, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) quietly kicked off the 2024 tax season. Early filers eager to secure their refunds have already begun submitting their returns, although the official deadline for both federal and Michigan taxes remains April 15th.
Early Birds Get the Refund Worm (Sometimes):
So, who files their taxes months before the due date? Early filers often prioritize speed, seeking to expedite the arrival of their tax refund checks. As IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel aptly stated, “For many people, this will be the biggest check they see all year.” In 2023, the average federal income tax refund clocked in at $3,167, highlighting the significant financial incentive driving early filing.
Key Dates and Refund Timelines:
|Jan 23, 2024
|IRS starts accepting 2023 tax returns on January 23, 2024.
|Feb 15, 2024
|Deadline for claiming Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit (refunds issued by Feb 27th)
|April 15, 2024
|Deadline for filing federal and Michigan tax returns
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Where’s My Refund? Gets an Upgrade:
One of the most frequently used features on IRS.gov is the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. With roughly 54 million taxpayers relying on it in 2022, the tool’s importance is undeniable. However, it has also faced criticism for providing unhelpful or ambiguous information regarding delayed returns.
Fortunately, the IRS is investing in improvements thanks to funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. This year, taxpayers can expect:
- More detailed status updates: The tool will offer a clearer picture of your refund’s progress, potentially including reasons for delays and actions needed to resolve them.
- Proactive alerts: If the IRS requires additional information from you, you’ll receive a notification within the tool, eliminating the need to call customer service.
- Mobile-friendly interface: The tool will be optimized for seamless use on mobile devices.
Should You Hold Off on Filing?
If your paperwork isn’t in order, rushing to file is not advisable. Werfel emphasizes, “Taxpayers should file when they are ready to file.” Ensure you have all necessary documents, including your W-2 and 1099 forms, before submitting your return. Additionally, a potential tax deal in Congress could retroactively impact 2023 taxes, specifically expanding the child tax credit for lower-income families. If this change passes, the IRS will adjust payments or refunds for early filers who qualify for the additional credit.
Stay Informed and File Smart:
While the Super Bowl may have dominated headlines, the tax season is officially underway. Early filers are already racing towards refunds, and the IRS is implementing improvements to its “Where’s My Refund?” tool. Remember, filing when you’re prepared with all your documents is crucial. Stay informed about potential tax law changes and file smart to secure your rightful refund.
- IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/
- “Where’s My Refund?” tool: https://www.irs.gov/refunds/about-wheres-my-refund