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Navigating the Tax Season: Insights and Updates for 2024

The tax filing season is a crucial time for individuals and businesses alike, and staying informed about the latest changes and offerings is key to a successful filing experience. As we navigate the 2024 tax season, several updates and resources have been introduced to assist taxpayers in this annual endeavor.

Direct File: A New Way to File for Free One of the most notable introductions this year is the IRS Direct File program. This new tax filing service is available in 12 states and allows eligible taxpayers to file their 2023 federal tax returns online for free, directly with the IRS. The program is designed to be user-friendly, providing a step-by-step guide to ensure that tax returns are complete and accurate. It also offers support through a live chat feature, available in English and Spanish, to assist taxpayers throughout the filing process.

Extended Hours and Saturday Events Recognizing the need for additional support during the tax season, the IRS has extended its hours and introduced Saturday events at many of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs). These centers will be open on select Saturdays to provide in-person help with tax account issues, identity authentication, and other services. However, it’s important to note that cash payments and tax return preparation services are not available during these special events.

Multilingual Resources In an effort to make tax information more accessible, the IRS has expanded its resources to include translations in multiple languages. Taxpayers can now find key topics and federal tax information in languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole, and Chinese (both traditional and simplified) on the IRS website.

Protecting Against Scams As always, the IRS warns taxpayers to be vigilant against scams, especially during the tax season. Scammers often use tactics such as impersonating IRS agents, promising large refunds, or threatening legal action to steal personal and financial information. Taxpayers are reminded to be cautious and to report any suspicious activities.

Filing Deadline and Refunds The filing deadline for the 2023 tax returns is April 15, 2024, for most taxpayers. Those who request an extension to file have until October 15, 2024, to submit their tax returns. It’s important to note that an extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes owed. As for refunds, taxpayers who file electronically and choose direct deposit can typically expect to receive their refunds in less than 21 days.

Conclusion The 2024 tax filing season brings new resources and services to help taxpayers navigate the process more smoothly. From the introduction of the Direct File program to extended hours at TACs and multilingual resources, the IRS is committed to improving the customer experience. As always, taxpayers are encouraged to file accurately and stay vigilant against scams to ensure a successful tax season.

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