Tax Tips for Filing Your 2023 Tax Return

From filing early to electronic filing, these tax tips will help speed up the process of filing your 2023 tax return.
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Getting the right tax advice and tips is vital in the complex tax world we live in. The Kiplinger Tax Letter helps you stay right on the money with the latest news and forecasts, with insight from our highly experienced team (). You can only get the full array of advice by subscribing to the Tax Letter, but we will regularly feature snippets from it online, and here is one of those samples…

The 2024 tax filing season is upon us. The IRS will begin accepting 2023 returns on January 29. Here are some tax tips to help speed up the process.

1. The fastest way to get a refund is to file your return early, to file electronically and, if you e-file, to request that the money be deposited directly into your account.
Although the IRS has improved its processing of paper returns, there are still delays. The IRS pays most refunds within 21 days. But some refunds will be held up. Filers claiming the earned income tax credit or refundable child credit will have to wait until at least late February for their refunds, or even later if they file paper returns. Measures to help detect tax identity theft and refund fraud could also result in delays. 

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2. E-filing early can also help protect you from tax-related identity theft.
Thieves who use stolen taxpayer identification numbers on fraudulent returns to seek improper refunds typically file the phony returns early in the filing season, so that the IRS receives them before legitimate taxpayers file their returns. If you e-file early, the IRS will likely process your return before any fake return. Apply for an identity-protection PIN as extra protection from identity theft. The IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned by the IRS to help verify a taxpayer’s identity. To apply for an IP PIN, use the “” tool on the IRS’s website. IP PINs are valid for one calendar year, so you can’t use the one you had last year. 

3. Want to electronically file your return but don’t want to pay for it?
The IRS has three free options. 

  • The IRS’s lets taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less use free commercial software to prepare and e-file returns. (Note some of the firms set lower AGI requirements.) 
  • The IRS’s are for people with higher AGIs who are knowledgeable about the changes in the tax laws and who are comfortable preparing their own returns.
  • The IRS has a new, for eligible individuals who opt-in. The pilot will give filers a step-by-step guide, provide real-time online support from IRS personnel, and allow the use of a smartphone, laptop, or other device to e-file. Eligibility is limited to filers with simple returns reporting certain types of income, credits or deductions who live in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming. This option is now available to federal and state government employees in these 12 states and will be expanded to more eligible individuals in March. More information on is available on the IRS website.

4. Be alert to IRS impersonation scams.
IRS scams surge during tax season. If you get a call, email or text from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t respond, don’t click on links, and don’t give out any personal information. 

Paid tax return preparers and other tax professionals are also at risk from phishing scams. Every tax professional is a potential victim of these sophisticated crooks, whose aim is to steal client data to seek fraudulent refunds from false return filings. They use emails and texts to trick tax pros into giving up electronic filing ID numbers, computer passwords, E-Services credentials and centralized authorization file numbers.

One example of a scam targeting tax return preparers involves fraudsters who impersonate real taxpayers seeking help with their taxes. They email the tax preparer to try to obtain sensitive information or to access the preparer’s client data. The subject line of the introductory email often references the current tax season, and the message will generally involve the sender needing a CPA or other tax pro to help prepare their taxes. If you get one of these phishing emails, forward it to the . 

This first appeared in The Kiplinger Tax Letter. It helps you navigate the complex world of tax by keeping you up-to-date on new and pending changes in tax laws, providing tips to lower your business and personal taxes, and forecasting what the White House and Congress might do with taxes.. 

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Editor, The Kiplinger Tax Letter

Joy is an experienced CPA and tax attorney with an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. After many years working for big law and accounting firms, Joy saw the light and now puts her education, legal experience and in-depth knowledge of federal tax law to use writing for Kiplinger. She writes and edits The Kiplinger Tax Letter and contributes federal tax and retirement stories to  and Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. Her articles have been picked up by the Washington Post and other media outlets. Joy has also appeared as a tax expert in newspapers, on television and on radio discussing federal tax developments.