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Pandemic Relief Gone: Brace Yourself for Smaller Tax Refunds in 2023

Millions of American taxpayers could be in for a shock when they see their 2023 tax refunds, as many pandemic benefits designed to help Americans through the crisis have now expired. Families may see smaller refunds when they file their taxes for the 2022 tax year, according to Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt. The average tax refund for the 2021 tax year was almost $3,200, a 14% increase from the previous year, according to IRS data.


Based on a report by CBS News on January 13, 2022, the IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 23, and the filing deadline is April 18, giving taxpayers an extra three days to file beyond the typical April 15 deadline. This is because April 15 falls on a Saturday, while April 17 is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia.


The benefits that boosted refunds during the pandemic, Including federal stimulus checks and the expanded child tax credit, have mostly expired. The IRS is warning that refunds may be smaller in 2023. Some tax benefits still exist but have returned to their pre-pandemic levels, such as the Child Tax Credit, which has now decreased from $3,600 per child to $2,000 per child, according to The New York Times on January 13, 2023.


The typical tax refund for 2021 taxes is expected to be around $2,700, similar to what taxpayers received for their 2020 taxes. Refunds can vary depending on factors such as your tax bracket and dependents. The IRS advises taxpayers not to rely on a specific refund date and that some returns may take longer due to additional review.


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