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What You Need to Know About Tax Season 2023

Sarah Sharkey Updated: January 14, 2024 • 3 min read
filing taxes

Key Points:

  • The IRS Free File tool opens on January 12, 2024.

  • You must file your 2023 tax returns by April 15, 2024, unless you qualify for an extension.

  • The IRS is launching a Direct File pilot program in some states to streamline your tax filing process.

Tax season might not be the most wonderful time of the year. But whether or not it’s your favorite season, the chore of filing your taxes rolls around like clockwork each year. With the tax season kicking off later this month, it’s helpful to get up to speed on everything you need to know about filing your taxes for 2023.

Let’s explore when is tax season 2023 and what you need to know.

What to Know About Filing Your 2023 Tax Returns

Tax filing season will officially start on January 29, 2024. That’s the first day the IRS will begin to accept and process 2023 tax returns. While that’s the first day you can officially file, that doesn’t mean you can’t get started on your taxes earlier. Whether you plan to use tax software or work with a tax expert, you’ll likely be able to start working on your tax returns now.

Tax filing season will officially start on January 29, 2024.

File before the deadline

The official deadline to file your 2023 tax return is April 15, 2024. It’s essential to finalize your tax return and file it with the IRS before that deadline. Otherwise, you might face late fees or other penalties.

The exception is if you qualify for and submit the necessary paperwork for an extension. If you file for an extension, the final deadline to file is October 15, 2024.

Aim to file your taxes early. Unfortunately, this chore can often take up more time than you expected. With that, it’s best to start early and file the return ahead of schedule. Not only will filing as soon as possible help you avoid missing the deadline, but it will also help you receive any potential tax refund sooner.

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Take advantage of free tools from the IRS for 2023 tax season

The IRS offers several free tools to help you file your taxes. While the tax code is complex, some of the tools created by the IRS are surprisingly useful.

Below is a look at some of the resources that might come in handy:

  • IRS Free File: If you have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $79,000 or less, you might qualify to file your federal return for free. You’ll need to answer some simple questions about your life and income. From there, you can use the tool to complete your filing and be provided a tax season 2023 calendar.
  • IRS Direct File pilot program: The IRS is launching this new program to help you navigate the tax filing process. If you are eligible, you might be able to use the pilot program in mid-March. It will help you file your taxes for free directly with the IRS.
  • Free tax help from volunteers: The IRS offers Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the elderly programs. Each is designed to help some taxpayers get the assistance they need to file their taxes. In general, you’ll need to have an AGI under $64,000 or be at least 60 years old to qualify for help from an IRS-certified volunteer.

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Lean on tax experts

Taxes are an unavoidable part of life. But most of us don’t know the ins and outs of the tax code. The good news is that working with a competent tax professional can help you avoid slogging through your tax preparations alone. By turning to a trusted professional, you can ensure your taxes are done right.

The need to lean on a tax expert might be especially relevant if you owe back taxes. If you are behind on your tax payments, consider enlisting the help of a tax relief service. With the right help, you might be able to get on a more affordable repayment plan or settle your tax debt in a lump sum payment.

The Bottom Line

Tax season is upon us. As you make plans to knock this task off of your to-do list, make sure to pay close attention to the deadlines. Using the free resources provided by the IRS to file your taxes is a good place to start. But for some taxpayers, enlisting the help of a professional might be a good idea.


Written by Sarah Sharkey linkedin-icon

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer with a Master's in Management from the Hough School of Business at the University of Florida. She enjoys helping people make better financial decisions and has written for numerous personal finance publications, including Money Under 30, Business Insider, and The College Investor. Sarah enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading when she is not writing.