tax return

Preparing For Tax Season

With tax season rapidly approaching, we thought we’d remind you what you can do to prepare to file your 2023 federal tax return. The IRS has actually taken steps to help with this. Visit the IRS website to get access to information like steps you can take to make filing easier. We care about you and your long-term financial success, so we thought we’d give you a basic rundown of some of the tips they had to share. 

Update Records

First step? Gather, organize, and update your tax records. Organizing records makes it easier to prepare a complete and accurate tax return. It helps avoid errors that can slow down refunds, and could also help you find overlooked deductions or tax credits. The majority of income is taxable. This includes unemployment compensation, refund interest, and income provided by digital assets. Taxpayers are recommended to gather Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Forms 1099-MISC, and other important documents and info before filing their return. Also, don’t forget to notify the IRS if you’ve switched addresses. 

Be Sure Paychecks Have Enough Tax Withheld

Using the IRS’ Tax Withholding Estimator tool, available on their website, taxpayers can potentially determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from their paychecks. This tool can benefit you if an earlier tax return resulted in tax owed or a large refund. For those who’ve had major life changes, such as getting married or welcoming a child, for those taking on a second job, etc, this online tool can help you calculate estimated tax payments.

In order to change federal tax withholding, you’ll need to update your withholding with your employer, either online or by submitting a new Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate). However, it’s crucial that you act quickly to make adjustments in time to affect 2023 tax withholding. Only a few pay periods remain in the year, and payroll systems require time to make withholding changes.

Volunteer to help Taxpayers File Their Returns

The IRS is looking for people all over the country interested in becoming volunteers. if you join the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, you can help eligible taxpayers with free tax preparation. Visit to learn more and register. After signing up, you will receive more information about attending a virtual orientation.

Stay Up-to-Date on Changes

A crucial part of the tax planning process is knowing which tax bracket you’ll likely be in. There are still seven tax rates, but the tax brackets for each rate have shifted slightly to account for inflation. For 2023, the following changes apply:

Tax rateSingle filersMarried couples filing jointly (or 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 up$693,751 and up

Following an inflation adjustment, the 2023 standard deduction increases to $13,850 for single filers, or $20,800 for single heads of household who are unmarried with one or more dependents. For married couples filing jointly, meanwhile, the standard deduction jumps up to $27,700. Itemized deductions remain mostly the same. For most filers, just taking the higher standard deduction is more practical, and saves them the hassle of keeping track of receipts. But, if you have enough tax-deductible expenses, itemizing might be worth it. 

Utilize the IRS’ Online Tools

Make the IRS’ website your first stop. Here, you can find online tools to help get the info you need. These tools are easy to use and available 24/7. Millions of Americans use them to help file and pay their taxes, track refunds, find information about their accounts, and get answers for important tax questions.

Reach Out to a Professional

Qualified tax professionals play an essential part in helping people navigate the nation’s current tax system. It’s important that you reach out to a qualified skilled professional who understands tax preparation and accurately filing tax returns. You need to find a professional you can trust with your most valuable information. Taxpayers suffer financially every year because they’ve made the choice of the wrong tax return preparer. So, be sure to choose a preparer suited to you, who knows what they’re doing. 

Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.

Sources:, Charles Schwab,

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