There are six weeks left before the federal filing date of April 18; the tax season is coming to a close. The IRS expects 168 million households or individuals to file taxes, with 7 in 10 expected to do so in the next several weeks. Tax refunds are likely to be smaller due to the expiration of pandemic benefits like stimulus checks and the expanded Child Tax Credit. The typical tax refund is $3,170 so far in 2023, down from $3,529 at the same time last year.
According to the IRS’s own data and tax specialists, returns are being processed by the IRS more quickly this year. It has received 46 million tax returns through Feb. 24, an increase of 1.3% from last year. The pandemic benefits that helped millions of taxpayers, such as stimulus checks and the expanded child tax credit, are largely expired. However, there are still plenty of deductions and other credits that people shouldn’t overlook.
The Earned Income Tax Credit can help low- or middle-income taxpayers receive as much as $6,935 in tax credits, and people who have side gigs or freelance income shouldn’t neglect claiming deductions for business-related expenses. The home office deduction for self-employed individuals is another valuable tax benefit. Extensions give you more time to file, not pay, but if you know you won’t be ready to file by April 18, you can get an extension to avoid penalties (Picchi, 2023).