taxes

Your Tax Refund Could Be a Lot Smaller This Year. Here's Why

You might be surprised by the changes to tax credits and brackets when you go to file your return

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Your tax refund could be a lot smaller this year. Now that tax season has officially begun, what's different?

First off, some tax credits are going back to their 2019 levels.

  • The Child Tax Credit returned to $2,000, instead of the $3,600 it was in 2021
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit has gone back to $500 for eligible taxpayers with no children, instead of the $1,500 in 2021
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit is now a maximum of $2,100, instead of the $8,000 in 2021

That's not all that's changed, though. The tax brackets are now different because of inflation.

BracketIndividualJoint
12%$11,000$22,000
22%$44,725$89,450
24%$95,375$190,750

The standard deduction has also gone up because of inflation, jumping to $13,850 for individual filers or $27,700 for married couples filing jointly.

So what do you need to do to make sure you get your refund as quickly as possible? First, make sure you have all the documents you need. Employers are required to give you your W-2 by the end of January.

Also, make sure you have other relevant forms. For most people, those would be earnings or interest statements from investments or other savings accounts, usually a 1099 or 1099-INT. If you plan to itemize any expenses or donations, make sure you have all the receipts.

If you want your refund quickly, the IRS says filing online is the fastest option. You also have more time this year, because the tax deadline was pushed to April 18th due to a holiday in Washington, D.C.

If you were affected by the winter storms and live or own a business in San Diego or several other counties across the state, your deadline has been pushed back even further to May 15th, 2023.

And remember, you do not have to pay to file your federal income taxes. The IRS Free File program has several different kinds of software or websites that you can use to fill out your federal tax return without paying a dime.

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