PREPARING FOR THE 2023 TAX FILING SEASON FAQ
1. Important filing season dates:
a. Monday, January 23rd: Individual 2022 tax returns start being accepted.
b. Monday, October 16th: Due date for filing 2022 tax returns or paying taxes owed to avoid interest
and penalties on taxes owed.
***** PLEASE NOTE: Due to the severe storms that hit California this winter, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Franchise Tax Board (FTB) moved the April 18th filing deadline for State and Federal taxes to October 16, 2023. The relief applies automatically to residents in impacted counties, including those living in Los Angeles County. This means LA County taxpayers have an additional six months to file their returns and make necessary payments without having to file an extension or provide additional documentation proving direct impact from the weather. You can find more information, here. ******
2. How can I prepare to file my tax return?
a. Organize all necessary records such as W-2s, 1099s, receipts, canceled checks, and other documents that support income, deductions, or credit(s) which will appear on your tax return. Gathering all financial documents, particularly those relating to income, from 2022 will make it much easier to complete and file an accurate 2022 tax return and avoid a delay in receiving any refund you may be owed.
b. In late January or early February, you should have received one or more of the following documents, which will assist you in preparing your return (make sure your employer, bank, and other payers have your current mailing and/or email address):
i. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement;
ii. Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income;
iii. Form 1099-INT, Interest Income;
iv. Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation;
v. Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments (like unemployment compensation or state tax refund);
vi. Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statements;
vii. Form 1099-K: Payment Card and Third-Party Network Transactions.
c. Create and/or check your IRS online account to view important available information about your federal tax account and your most recently filed tax return: Here.
3. How can I file my tax return?
a. You can file your tax return by doing any of the following:
i. Use the FREE fillable forms provided by the IRS.
ii. Sign up for an appointment at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic (if you are eligible):
1. The VITA program generally offers FREE tax help to people who:
a. Make $60,000 or less;
b. Persons with disabilities; and/or
c. Limited English-speaking taxpayers.
iii. Use a FREE e-filing service through the IRS Free File program (if you are eligible).
1. Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income under $73,000 are eligible for the IRS free file program.
2. Some IRS free file partners offer online products in Spanish.
3. *NOTE: IRS free file preparation partners may charge a fee for preparing state tax returns so read offers carefully.
iv. Use a commercial software approved by the IRS. You may be charged a fee for this software.
v. Use an authorized tax professional for a fee. The fee varies.
4. Are unemployment benefits taxable?
a. YES. While unemployment compensation is not considered “earned income,” it is taxable and must be included as gross income in your tax return.
b. If you received unemployment compensation you should expect to receive a Form 1099-G showing your unemployment income from the year.
c. This includes standard unemployment compensation as well as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) payments received in 2022.
d. *NOTE: It is possible to elect to have federal taxes withheld from your unemployment benefits, but many do not do so. If you did not elect to have taxes withheld, then you will be responsible for paying them when your 2022 tax return is filed.
e. *NOTE: Individuals who receive a Form 1099-G for unemployment compensation they did not receive should contact their state tax agency and request a corrected Form 1099-G.
5. How can I receive my tax refund?
a. If you want to receive your refund faster, you can sign up for direct deposit with the IRS.
i. This option can be selected while using tax software or working with a tax preparer by entering your account and routing numbers.
ii. Refunds should only be deposited into U.S. affiliated accounts in your name or your spouse’s name.
iii. Refunds can be split between multiple bank accounts or can be applied to certain prepaid debit cards.
iv. For more information on using direct deposit visit the IRS website, here.
b. If direct deposit is not selected, you will receive your refund by paper check in the mail.
6. Am I eligible for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?
a. The EITC can be claimed by working taxpayers with incomes below a certain threshold based on their filing status. You can find more information, here.
b. The EITC can be as much as $6,935 for a family with three or more children, and up to $560 for taxpayers without qualifying children. As of December 2022, the average amount of EITC received nationwide was about $2,043.
c. Use this IRS tool, here to determine if you are eligible for the EITC.
7. Am I eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and/or the California Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC)?
a. In addition to the EITC discussed above, you may also be able to claim the CalEITC. You are eligible if:
i. You are at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child;
ii. Your income was no greater than $30,000;
iii. You have a valid social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN);
iv. You lived in California for more than half the year; and
v. You do not use the married/RDP filing separate filing status.
b. The CalEITC ranges from a maximum of $275 for individuals with no qualifying children to $3,417 for families with three or more children. You can find more information, here.
c. The YCTC can be claimed by individuals who qualify for the CalEITC and have a child under the age of 6. The YCTC can be worth up to $1,083 for every qualifying child under the age of 6.
d. *NOTE: Both the CalEITC and the YCTC phase out as income increases, so as your income gets closer to $30,000 the credit decreases.
8. Gig-Economy Workers
i. Gig-Economy workers (e.g. Doordash drivers, TaskRabbit service providers, Wag dog walkers, etc.) must report income earned on their tax return.
ii. If you are a GIG Economy worker, the IRS encourages you to consider making quarterly estimated tax payments to stay current with their federal tax obligations and avoid a big tax bill at the end of the year. here.
9. Identity Protection PINs
i. The IRS has expanded its Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to all taxpayers who can verify their identity.
ii. The PIN is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and the IRS that can help prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns with the taxpayers’ information.
iii. This program is optional and the PIN must be renewed each year.
iv. For more information on the program visit the IRS website, here.
10. Additional Resources:
a. Steps to Take to Prepare for Filing a Tax Return, here.
b. Electronic Tax Return Filing, here.
c. Track your Tax Refund, here.
d. IRS Tools and Resources Page, here.
e. IRS Free File, here.
f. EITC Assistance Tool, here.
g. Recovery Rebate Credit, here.
h. Register for Online IRS Account here.
i. Tax Resources for Military Members, Veterans and Families, here.
If you have more questions or need assistance, we are happy to help.
Please contact our intake line at 323-939-0506.