WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Internal Revenue Service on Monday announced this year’s tax filing season will officially begin on Jan. 29, when it will start accepting and processing returns for 2023.
The agency said it expects more than 128.7 million individual tax returns to be filed and processed between then and the April 15 tax deadline.
Americans who use software providers to file electronically or employ tax professionals to prepare their returns are free to file before Jan. 29, although the IRS will not begin processing them until then.
IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said taxpayers will notice “a marked improvement in IRS operations” as the new tax season begins, promising that IRS employees “are working hard to make sure that new funding is used to help taxpayers by making the process of preparing and filing taxes easier.”
Among the improvements, he said, are more employees available to meet taxpayers in person at new or reopening Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country, many of which will have extended hours.
More agents will also be available for help on the agency’s toll-free line. which now features an expanded customer call-back feature “designed to significantly reduce wait times,” Werfel said.
The IRS Free File program, which allows many taxpayers to fill out their forms online and send them directly to the IRS via a third-party provider, will begin accepting returns on Friday.
Meanwhile. the IRS’ popular “Where’s My Refund?” feature has been upgraded to issue messages with more details than the generic response stating their returns are still being processed and to check back later.
“With the improvements, taxpayers will see clearer and more detailed updates, including whether the IRS needs them to respond to a letter requesting additional information,” the agency said. “The new updates will reduce the need for taxpayers to call the IRS for answers to basic questions.”
Most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days, the agency said.