WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) – While you’re enjoying the end-of-year holidays, keep in mind that tax time begins on January 1.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that filing early is the best way to get their returns back quickly and reduce the chance of thieves filing a false claim in their name.

Here are some ideas the IRS suggests to make filing the 2022 federal tax return easier:

Get Ready by gathering tax records:

  • Consider financial transactions that occurred in 2022, if they’re taxable and how they should be reported.
  • Develop an electronic or paper recordkeeping system to store tax-related information in one place for easy access.
  • Keep copies of filed tax returns and their supporting documents for at least three years.
  • Before January, confirm employer, bank and other payers have your current mailing address and email address to ensure you receive their year-end financial statements.  Review each income statement for accuracy and contact the issuer to correct information that needs to be updated.

Get Ready for what’s new for Tax Year 2022:

  • With the end of the year approaching, time is running out to take advantage of the Tax Withholding Estimator. This online tool can help wage earners determine if there is a need to adjust withholding, consider additional tax payments, or submit a new W-4 form to an employer to avoid an unexpected tax bill when you file.
  • Taxpayers should report the income they earned, including from part-time work, side jobs or the sale of goods. This includes unemployment income, refund interest and income from the gig economy and digital assets
  • Anyone receiving a 1099-K reflecting income they didn’t earn should call the issuer. The IRS cannot correct it.
  • Refunds may be smaller in 2023. Taxpayers will not receive an additional stimulus payment with a 2023 tax refund because there were no Economic Impact Payments for 2022. In addition, taxpayers who don’t itemize and take the standard deduction, won’t be able to deduct their charitable contributions. Refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) can’t be issued before mid-February.

Renew expiring tax ID numbers:

Get refunds fast with Direct Deposit:

  • Taxpayers should prepare to file electronically and choose Direct Deposit for their tax refund – it’s the fastest and safest way to file and get a refund. Even when filing a paper return, choosing a direct deposit refund can save time. For those who do not have a bank account, the FDIC website offers information to help people open an account online.

Bookmark the following tools on IRS.gov

Online tools are easy to use and available to taxpayers 24 hours a day. They provide key information about tax accounts and a convenient way to pay taxes. IRS.gov provides information in many languages and enhanced services for people with disabilities, including the Accessibility Helpline. Taxpayers who need accessibility assistance may call 833-690-0598. Taxpayers should use IRS.gov as their first and primary resource for accurate tax information.

  • Let Us Help You page. The Let Us Help You page on IRS.gov has links to information and resources on a wide range of topics.
  • Online Account.An IRS online account lets taxpayers securely access their personal tax information, including tax return transcripts, payment history, certain notices, prior year adjusted gross income and power of attorney information. Filers can log in to verify if their name and address is correct. They should notify IRS if their address has changed. They must notify the Social Security Administration of a legal name change to avoid a delay in processing their tax return.
  • IRS Free File. Almost everyone can file electronically for free on IRS.gov/freefile or with the IRS2Go app. The IRS Free File program, available only through IRS.gov, offers brand-name tax preparation software packages at no cost. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits and exemptions for filers. It‘s free for those who qualify. Some Free File packages offer free state tax return preparation. Those who are comfortable preparing their own taxes can use Free File Fillable Forms, regardless of their income, to file their tax return either online or by mail.
  • Find a tax professional. The Choosing a Tax Professional page on IRS.gov has a wealth of information to help filers choose a tax professional. In addition, the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.
  • Interactive Tax Assistant.The Interactive Tax Assistant is a tool that provides answers to many tax questions. It can determine if a type of income is taxable and eligibility to claim certain credits or deductions. It also provides answers for general questions, such as determining filing requirement, filing status or eligibility to claim a dependent.
  • Where’s My Refund? Taxpayers can use the Where’s My Refund? tool to check the status of their refund. Current year refund information is typically available online within 24 hours after the IRS receives an e-filed tax return. A paper return status can take up to four weeks to appear after it is mailed. The Where’s My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so filers only need to check once a day.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

Filers can visit the Get Ready webpage to find guidance on what’s new and what to consider when filing a 2022 tax return. They can also find helpful information on organizing tax records and a list of online tools and resources.