tax return

Preparing For Tax Season

Tax season is quickly approaching, so we thought we’d remind you about some of the things you can do to prepare. The IRS has taken steps to help people get the information they need to file their 2023 federal tax return. Visit the IRS website to get access to information including steps you can take to make filing easier (click here). Because we care about you and your long-term financial success, we thought we’d give you a rundown of some of the info they had to share.

Update Your Records

Gather, organize, and update your tax records. Organizing tax records makes it easier to prepare a complete and accurate tax return. It helps you avoid errors that could slow down refunds, and may also help you find overlooked deductions or tax credits. Most of your income is taxable, including unemployment compensation, refund interest, and income from digital assets. It’s recommended that taxpayers gather Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Forms 1099-MISC, and other documents before they file their tax return. Additionally, don’t forget to notify the IRS if you have switched addresses.

Be Sure Paychecks Have Enough Tax Withheld

Use the Tax Withholding Estimator tool on the IRS website to determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from your paychecks. Taxpayers can benefit from this if an earlier tax return resulted in tax owed or a large refund. For those who’ve undergone major life changes, such as getting married or divorced, or for those taking on a second job, for example, this tool can help you calculate estimated tax payments. Update your withholding with your employer, either online or by submitting a new Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) to change federal tax withholding. But, be aware that you have to act quickly to make adjustments in time to affect 2023 tax withholding. Only a few pay periods remain in the year, and payroll systems need time to make withholding changes.

Utilize the IRS’ Online Tools

When preparing for tax filing season, make a stop off at the official IRS website. Here, you can get the information and tools you need to prepare for tax season. These tools are easy to use and accessible 24/7. Millions of people use them to help file and pay their taxes, track their refunds, find information regarding their accounts, and get answers to essential tax questions.

Volunteer to Help Taxpayers File Their Returns

The IRS is always looking for people all over the country to become IRS-certified volunteers. If you join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, you can help eligible taxpayers with free tax preparation. Visit to learn more, and register if you want to. After signing up, you will receive more information about how to attend a virtual orientation.

Stay Up-to-Date on Changes

A crucial part of getting prepared to file your taxes is knowing which tax bracket you’ll most likely be in. There are still seven tax rates, but the tax brackets for each rate have shifted in order to account for inflation. The following changes apply for 2023:

Tax rateSingle filersMarried couples filing jointly/qualifying widows or widowers
10%$0 – $11,000$0 – $22,000
12%$11,001 – $41,725$20,001 – $89,450
22%$44,726 – $95,375$89,451 – $190,750
24%$95,376 – $182,100$190,751 – $364,200
32%$182,101 – $231,250$364,201 – $462,500
35%$231,251 – $578,125$462,501 – $693,750
37%$578,126 and above$693,751 and above

The 2023 standard deduction increased to $13,850 for single filers following an inflation adjustment. For single heads of household who are unmarried with one or more dependents, meanwhile, it went up to$20,800. And, for married couples filing jointly, it’s $27,700. Itemized deductions remain mostly the same. For most filers, simply taking the higher standard deduction is more practical. Most people don’t want to deal with holding onto and keeping track of receipts. But, if you have enough tax-deductible expenses, itemizing might be worth the hassle.

Reach Out to the Right Professional

Tax professionals play an important role in helping people navigate our current tax system. However, it’s very important that you reach out to the right person. You need a qualified tax professional with skills in tax preparation and accurately filing tax returns. Every year, taxpayers suffer financially because they made the wrong choice of tax return preparer. So, be sure to choose a preparer who knows what they’re doing and has your best interests in mind.

Sources:, Charles Schwab,

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