The IRS is now accepting tax returns and offering expanded taxpayer help this year with more in-person hours, better service and improved tools.
It’s tax time.
The Internal Revenue Service opened the 2024 tax season this week and is accepting and processing federal individual tax returns as the agency continues focusing on expanding options to help taxpayers.
It expects more than 146 million individual tax returns for 2023 to be submitted this filing season, so whether you file as early as possible to get the windfall deposited into your bank account or delay filing until the last possible moment, the filing deadline is April 15.
The IRS will be extending hours of service in nearly 250 Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the country and working to continue improvements on its phone service and expanding online tools. The “Where’s My Refund?” Tool on IRS.gov will add more details for taxpayers checking on the status of their tax refund, offering refund status messages in plain language. The updated tool will also work on mobile devices.
Instead of generic messages stating that returns are still being processed and to check back later, taxpayers will see clearer and more detailed updates, including whether the IRS needs them to respond to a letter requesting additional information. It’s expected these updates will reduce the need for taxpayers to call the IRS for answers to basic questions.
The closest TACs to Plant City are in Lakeland, at 2133 Harden Blvd. and Tampa, at 3848 W. Columbus Dr. Both offer extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. until April 16. The centers will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“For months, IRS employees have been working hard to be ready to help taxpayers and make tax season as easy and smooth as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.
The IRS encourages people to file their tax returns electronically and choose direct deposit for faster refunds. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.
While the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills because some returns may require additional review and may take longer.
Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov 24 hours a day to get answers to tax questions and to learn about free online and in-person tax preparation options for qualifying taxpayers.