The Internal Revenue Service said that tax season will officially begin on Jan. 23 as the IRS hopes it has enough staff in place to assist taxpayers.
In recent years, it has often been a struggle for Americans to reach the IRS amid staff shortages. The IRS said it has hired 5,000 new staffers to answer questions on the phone and in person.
Some Americans also used the last two tax seasons to claim pandemic stimulus checks, complicating the IRS’ effort to answer calls.
The IRS is optimistic it now has enough staff to handle questions and process returns.
"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," said 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.”
Although tax season begins on Jan. 23, Americans can use e-file systems today. The IRS said for its e-file system, it will hold returns until Jan. 23 to process. The IRS’ e-file system is free for taxpayers making under $73,000 annually.
But one reason you might want to hold off on filing is to ensure you have all tax documents ready. The IRS said filing a complete tax return without needing amendments is the best way to ensure a fast refund.
The IRS also recommends filers use direct deposit for the quickest possible refund. The IRS said most refunds will be issued within 21 days of filing.