When Can You File Taxes in 2023?

If you're an early bird when it comes to filing your tax return, there's good news from the IRS.

tax forms and a notebook with "tax season" written on a page
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We are just starting 2023, but some people already want to know when you can file taxes this year. That's understandable, because generally, the sooner you file your federal income tax return, the sooner you will receive your tax refund--if you're due one. 

So, when can you file taxes this year? Here's information you need to know.

When You Can File 2022 Taxes

This year, the IRS started accepting 2022 tax returns at 9:00 a.m. ET on January 23, 2023. That's one day earlier than last year.

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If you wanted to file your return as soon as possible and made $73,000 or less in 2022, IRS Free File opened on January 13. 

It should also be noted that participating Free File providers began accepting completed returns starting on January 13 and held them until January 23, when they could be filed electronically with the IRS. Other tax preparation software companies and tax professionals may also accept or prepare tax returns before January 23 and hold them until the IRS begins accepting returns.

If you prefer to wait to file your taxes, you have until April 18, 2023, to file your 2022 federal income tax return or request a tax filing extension

Normally the due date is April 15, but since that day falls on a weekend this year and the next business day is a holiday in Washington, D.C. (Emancipation Day), the deadline is pushed to April 18. 

Anyone requesting an extension will have until October 16, 2023, to file their 2022 federal income tax return (although payment of any tax owed is still due on the original April 18 deadline).

Who Must File a Tax Return?

Not everyone is required to file a tax return. If your income is under a certain amount (see table below), you aren't required to file a tax return because you will not owe any tax.

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Federal Tax Return Filing Requirements (2022 Tax Year)
Filing Status and Age at End of 2022Income Required to File 2022 Return
Single; Under 65$12,950
Single; 65 or Older$14,700
Married Filing Jointly; Both Spouses Under 65$25,900
Married Filing Jointly; One Spouse 65 or Older$27,300
Married Filing Jointly; Both Spouses 65 or Older$28,700
Married Filing Separately; Any Age$5
Head of Household; Under 65$19,400
Head of Household; 65 or Older$21,150
Qualifying Widow(er); Under 65$25,900
Qualifying Widow(er); 65 or Older$27,300

However, even if your income is below the applicable threshold, you still may want to file a 2022 tax return anyway. For example, you will need to file a return to claim certain tax credits, such as the:

  • Earned income credit;
  • Additional child tax credit;
  • American Opportunity credit;
  • Credit for federal tax on fuels;
  • Premium tax credit; and
  • Credits for sick and family leave.

When Will Tax Refunds Arrive?

If you have a federal tax refund coming, you could get your money back in as little as three weeks. 

In the past, the IRS has issued over 90% of refunds in less than 21 days. If you want to speed up the refund process, e-file your 2022 tax return and select the direct deposit payment method. That is the fastest way. 

Paper returns and checks slow things down considerably.

However, don't expect your refund before mid-February if you claim the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit. 

By law, refunds for returns claiming these credits must be delayed. This applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with the credits. According to the IRS, its "Where's My Refund" tool should provide an updated status for your refund by February 18 if you claim one of these credits. 

The IRS also expects most refunds that are held up because the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit was claimed to be available in bank accounts or on debit cards by February 28 if you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your return.

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.