Tax season 2024: What you need to know

Tax season 2024: What you need to know

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- It's officially tax season. The IRS began accepting federal returns on Jan. 29 and experts say it's best to file early.

"The earlier you file, the earlier you'll get your refund," said Peter Barca, Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) Secretary. Barca says filing early also protects you from possibly security threats. 

"If you file early, you have less of a chance of having fraud committed against you or people attempting to steal your individual identifying information or tax ID number," said Barca.

A new study suggests that most Americans will follow that advice. A recent survey by Intuit found that more than half of taxpayers plan to file their taxes early. Barca says E-Filing is best.

"That's the most secure way to file of all and the surest way to make sure your form is not set aside because we can't read the numbers on the form," he said.

For Wisconsinites, a new system is being rolled out by the DOR this year called Wis-Tax. "It's a new system. One that's even more user friendly. You can even utilize your phone to file," said Barca. Taxpayers can also use the IRS free file option, which is for those with an adjusted gross income under $79,000.

Similar to past years, DOR's Customer Service Call Center is extending hours during this busy time. Call Center tax specialists are available from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Once you have filed, you can utilize the DOR's Where's My Refund tool, which gives instant access to your refund status.

Tax season ends April 15th. If you need more time, you can also ask for an extension. For federal returns, the IRS expects most people will get their refunds within 21 days.

More filing tips for the DOR:

  • Wait for your W-2s and all 1099 documents to ensure accuracy. If you file before you receive all this information, corrections can cause significant delays in receiving your refund. Preparing early allows more time to check work for mistakes before filing that may cause processing delays.
  • Don't wait until the last minute; file as soon as you are confident you have all needed documents. Feel the satisfaction of completing this essential task and not having to worry about when to fit "doing taxes" into your busy schedule.
  • Watch your mailbox because DOR may send you a letter requesting additional information. A quick response is the best way to avoid delays in processing.

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