• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

What to do before Jan. 13

Once you have your W-2s and other essential paperwork — keep an eye out for the new Letter 6419, which is being mailed out to child tax credit recipients — you can hop on your computer or go to a tax preparer to get started.

You don't have to wait until opening day of the tax-filing season to get your taxes done. Most software companies and tax professionals will accept returns early, though they can't file the documents until the IRS system opens on Jan. 13.

You can complete your return electronically using popular tax preparation software.

Getting an early jump on your return is a good idea, in case you run into any issues. And electronic filing helps you save time and find potential errors, such as missing information.

"This filing season is the first to benefit the IRS and our nation's tax system from multi-year funding in the Inflation Reduction Act," says Acting IRS Commissioner Doug O'Donnell.

"With these new additional resources, taxpayers and tax professionals will see improvements in many areas of the agency this year. We've trained thousands of new employees to answer phones and help people. While much work remains after several difficult years, we expect people to experience improvements this tax season. That's just the start as we work to add new long-term transformation efforts that will make things even smoother in future years. We are very excited to begin to deliver what taxpayers want and our employees know we could do with this funding."

More: How to find your tax bracket

Kiss Your Credit Card Debt Goodbye

Millions of Americans are struggling to crawl out of debt in the face of record-high interest rates. A personal loan offers lower interest rates and fixed payments, making it a smart choice to consolidate high-interest credit card debt. It helps save money, simplifies payments, and accelerates debt payoff. Credible is a free online service that shows you the best lending options to pay off your credit card debt fast — and save a ton in interest.

Explore better rates

How long will your tax refund take?

The IRS website says taxpayers generally receive their refunds within 21 days if they file electronically, choose direct deposit and their return doesn’t have any red flags.

Even so, don’t count on your tax refund for any time-sensitive payments, because delays are always possible.

If you received half your child tax credit in advance monthly payments last year, you can claim the other half when you file your return this year. The IRS says this shouldn’t cause any delays, unless you fail to properly reconcile your advance payments with the amount of credit money you’re eligible for on your 2023 tax return.

When you file using an old-fashioned paper return, your refund will take longer — up to six weeks — because the IRS must receive your document by mail, then input the information into its system.

If filing by paper is your preferred choice, be aware that the Feb. 19 Presidents Day holiday and any rough winter weather could slow your return on its journey to the IRS.

Checking on your tax refund

Any refund may be delayed because of errors, omissions or signs of possible identity theft. And if you claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC), you may have a short wait because the IRS says it can't issue refunds related to those credits until mid-February.

How do you check what's happening with your refund? The IRS knows that this is (obviously) a very popular question, so the agency created an app called IRS2Go, which allows you to track the status of your refund.

If apps aren’t your thing, you can go to the IRS website and its Where’s My Refund? portal to see how your refund is progressing.

Both of these choices start providing updates on your tax refund 24 hours after you’ve e-filed. You’ll see when your return has been received, when your refund has been approved and when it’s been sent. (You'll have to wait four weeks to see any status reports if you file a paper return.)

You can also count on updates from your tax solutions provider.

Sponsored

This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.