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Jill On Money: Tax season opens

Jill Schlesinger on

Taxpayers, start your engines! The tax season officially opened January 29 and the IRS expects more than 128 million individual tax returns to be filed. To mark the event, here are some important facts:

For most taxpayers, the deadline to file their personal federal tax return, pay any tax owed or request an extension to file is Monday, April 15, 2024.

Taxpayers living in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, due to the Patriot’s Day and Emancipation Day holidays. Taxpayers who reside in a federally declared disaster area, also may have additional time to file.

Bookmark the IRS.gov website and check out the “Get Ready” section. You will need to gather all of your relevant information, like Social Security numbers and this year’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PIN).

Collect all income related documents, like W2s, 1099s, unemployment benefits received, dividends, pensions, annuities, or retirement plan distributions.

This service lets you file your federal taxes at no extra cost either through electronic fillable forms or through IRS partnerships with private tax preparation services.

 

It’s open to taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $79,000 or less in 2023. If your AGI is above $79,000, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of paper forms.

The IRS is experimenting with a new way to file taxes called Direct File, which will allow taxpayers to file their 2023 federal tax return online, for free, directly with the IRS.

If you are eligible (you have to live in one of the 12 pilot states), it sounds pretty nifty: no software, mobile-friendly, easy to use, secure, accessible, and free.

Many of the headaches that taxpayers encounter, including easily avoidable errors and long wait times for refunds, could be sidestepped if everyone filed electronically and used direct deposit.

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