ProPublica has reported extensively about taxes, the IRS Free File program and the IRS. Specifically, the ways in which the for-profit tax preparation industry — companies like Intuit (TurboTax), H&R Block and Tax Slayer — has lobbied for the Free File program, then systematically undermined it with evasive search tactics and confusing design. These companies also work to fill search engine results with tax “guides” that sometimes route users to paid products.
On Jan. 23, 2023, the IRS began accepting and processing returns for the 2022 tax year. That means that the window for filing your individual tax return is nearly three months long.
There’s hope that the process will be less of a headache this year: The IRS promises improved service and has added 5,000 new phone workers and more in-person staff to support taxpayers, thanks to an influx of funding from the August passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. With the new funding and electronic filing options, tax time might just be smoother this year.
When Are My Federal Taxes Due?
2022 federal income tax returns for individuals are now due April 18, 2023. The IRS announced in January that its tax deadline would be pushed back from the usual date, April 15, due to the 2023 calendar.
A note for victims of severe storms: In January, after torrential rainstorms, mudslides and tornadoes hit California, Georgia and Alabama, the IRS announced that victims of severe storms in these states have until May 15, 2023, to file their taxes.
Members of the military serving in a combat zone also get an extension. This extension is typically 180 days after leaving a combat zone.
I’m a victim of a severe storm. Am I eligible for the May 15 tax deadline?
Whether you’re eligible for the May 15 deadline largely depends on the county you live in and is based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster declaration. A list of counties eligible for the May 15 deadline is available on the IRS website. The new deadline applies to various individual and business tax returns as well as payments.
The IRS automatically identifies individuals living in those counties as eligible for the new deadline. If you’re a taxpayer affected by these severe storms who’s living outside the disaster area, you can call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.
Does the April 18 deadline apply to all taxes?
Yes. This applies to all individual tax filers as well as trusts, corporations and other noncorporate tax filers. Quarterly estimated taxes for individuals are due April 18, 2023, too.
When Are My State Taxes Due?
There’s a good chance the April 18 deadline applies to your state taxes, too. Most states have followed the IRS’ lead and made their tax deadlines April 18. Some have imposed slightly later deadlines. Your state’s tax office website will have the most accurate information about your state income tax deadline.
Can I Get an Extension on My Taxes?
Yes. Individual taxpayers can ask for an extension to Oct. 16, 2023, by filing form 4868 by April 18. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file for an extension electronically, filling out form 4868 with IRS’s Free File program. You can also file for an extension when you pay your estimated income tax electronically with IRS’s free Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or a credit or debit card and indicate that the payment is for an extension.
An extension provides you with more time to prepare and file your tax return. It does not, however, grant you more time to pay your taxes. Taxpayers who need an extension to file but still owe tax payments can avoid penalties by making an estimated payment by the deadline.
A note for victims of severe storms: Victims in FEMA-designated disaster areas can request an extension from the IRS after April 18, but they must do so by mail instead of electronically. Electronic extension requests are only available prior to April 18. Details are provided on the IRS website.
When Should I Expect My Tax Refund?
The IRS says that most tax refunds are being paid within 21 days of filing. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as it’s the quickest way to receive your refund.
While the IRS continues to accept paper forms, it has a severe paperwork backlog and warns that it may take six months or more to process your tax return if you file on paper.
There are two credits that may delay your refund. If you filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, by law, the IRS cannot begin issuing your refund until mid-February.
About this guide: ProPublica has reported on the IRS, the Free File program and other tax topics for years. ProPublica’s tax guide is not personalized tax advice. Speak to a tax professional about your specific tax situation.