As tax season begins, experts warn refunds could be lower this year

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 3:59 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Monday Jan. 23 marks the first day people can file taxes this year.

“The window to file your tax return is now as big as it ever as been,” said Michael Misiti, a certified public accountant and partner with Fyffe Jones Group.

Misiti says while it’s good to file your taxes sooner rather than later, it’s also important to be accurate.

“Take your time. Wait for any other documents that you think you have out there. Look at your prior tax returns and see what you had going on the past few years,” Misiti said. “The cost and the time it takes to amend a return can be twice as what you’d have to deal with when you’re ordinarily filing your return, and the IRS is still dealing with an incredible backlog with the pandemic and all that’s happened in the past three or four years.”

This year, Misiti warns your return could be much lower due to pandemic benefits ending.

“We’re encouraging people to be extra cautious about the amounts that they are seeing that they think they may be entitled to for 2022 because a lot has changed since 2021 and the years before in relation to those things,” he said.

A big change -- the enhanced child tax credit has been reduced. Last year that credit for children under six was $3,600 per child under six. This tax season, it reversed back to $2,000 per child.

“That’s changed from what we’ve seen in the past, and the government was trying to put money in people’s pockets throughout the year which is part of the advantage of a credit trying to put money in the economy,” Misiti said.

With pandemic stimulus credits not being on this year’s tax returns, and the reduction in childcare tax credits tax experts say families are going to be hit the hardest.

Misiti also says many think filing taxes sooner means a quicker refund, but he is warning people you may have to wait a little longer for that check.

“We’re seeing the IRS take a little more time to examine the refunds especially for high-dollar refunds, and that’s for your own protection,” Misiti said. “That’s for the security not just for you as a taxpayer, but for everyone who is asking the IRS for a refund.”

If you are waiting for tax documents to come in the mail, Misiti says to also check statements online.

“The old days of mailing out tax documents those days are in a lot of ways behind us,” he said.

He said most things such as bank interest statements and mortgage statements are posted online.

“We’re reminding people to log in their accounts to see if there’s anything you have on there that’s a tax document that you need to report to your accountant,” Misiti said.

After you file your taxes, if you are curious when your refund will arrive, Misiti says Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia have online portals to track your refund.

The deadline to file your taxes is April 18.