We have a start date for the Internal Revenue Service's 2023 tax filing season!
Stop cheering all you tax early birds who've already got your personal returns ready to go. This is not for you.
Thursday, Jan. 12, is the day that the IRS will begin accepting electronically filed business returns.
That's a few days later than in 2022. Last year, business filers got the jump on the rest of us on Jan. 7.
But it's still in the first half of this month. And it's an official tax season beginning for some filers.
Individual returns, when? The start of the 2023 filing season for the rest of us, according to the agency's Modernized e-File (MeF) Status web page (screen capture below), is "To be announced."
Last year, the annual individual tax season officially opened on Jan. 24. That was the day that the IRS started processing tax returns. From that date through the end of last October, the IRS received more than 163 million returns.
Ten days earlier, the IRS had flipped the on switch to Free File, its partnership with Free File Alliance tax software preparation manufacturers. That's when eligible filers could start using the software provided by Free File participating companies.
Those early Free File returns, however, were held until the tax season's formal on Jan. 24. That same fill-out and hold process also was in place for other early filers, including those who bought tax software on their own, used the software companies' online filing options, or turned their taxes over to paid preparers who got to them early.
Although there's no official 2023 individual tax return acceptance dates yet, look for the IRS to implement a similar system this year. Business will go first (check), followed by Free File taxpayers (to be determined), and then the rest of us (to be announced).
IRS also needs prep time: All us taxpayers know that a successful personal filing season depends on us being ready. Note my earlier post's fourth tax move to make in January — get organized. This primarily is to know which tax documents you'll need to file and start gathering them.
The same goes for the IRS.
Every new year, the agency staggers its opening for the various types of tax returns. The reason is because it has to reconfigure its systems to accommodate the upcoming filings. This process typically begins in November.
However, the agency also has faced a lot of extra tasks in recent years due to COVID-19 pandemic complications. It was still dealing with backlogged filings last year, so it had to sandwich 2023 tax season prep in wherever and whenever it could.
No big late law changes: At least, the IRS and taxpayers don't have to deal with last-minute tax changes.
Congress didn't make any late-December Internal Revenue Code changes. The House and Senate also didn't renew, even retroactively, some tax laws that expired at the end of 2021. Check out the extenders section in my 2022 review/2023 preview post for more on these items.
That lack of lawmaker's action should make the IRS' task of getting ready for tax season 2023 a bit easier. It will, however, cause some consternation for business and individual taxpayers who were hoping for the return of some popular tax breaks.
Just how much frustration will be evident for business filers aiming for the Jan. 12 start of their filing season, and "to be announced" later for the rest of us.
You also might find these items of interest:
- Make retirement plans now to claim the Saver's Credit
- Interest rates on late tax refunds, and unpaid taxes, going up in 2023
- Business travel tax-deductible standard mileage rate increases in 2023