CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now accepting and processing tax returns for 2022.

More than 168 million people are expected to file tax returns this year and for many, their tax returns may be smaller. Many benefits from the COVID-19 pandemic have ended, including the child tax credit which returned to pre-pandemic numbers. Parents and caregivers will miss out on up to $8,000 in the child or dependent care tax.

This year, the IRS has hired more than 5,000 new telephone assistants and more in-person staff to help support taxpayers, which was funded through the Inflation Reduction Act.

“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. We are very excited to begin to deliver what taxpayers want and our employees know we could do with this funding,” said Acting IRS Commissioner Doug O’Donnell.

Tax season runs through April 18 this year, giving Americans an extra three days to file due to the calendar. The IRS says to make sure you have all your documents needed before filing your taxes to avoid extensive processing and refund delays.

Once you file your taxes, you can check the Where’s My Refund page on the IRS website to see what you can expect to receive your refund.