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Tax Season Has Started, Here Are Tips For A Timely Refund From The IRS

BOSTON (CBS) - The 2022 tax season began January 24, and taxpayers have been warned it's going to be another bumpy ride. The IRS is still working on a backlog of more than 6 million returns.

"There [are] just truckloads of paper out there that has not been processed," Hingham CPA Tim MacClellan told WBZ-TV.

That's why MacClellan's number one piece of advice for taxpayers is avoid filing a paper tax return.

"Paper is the IRS's kryptonite," he said, quoting a release from the taxpayer advocate.

Electronic returns are processed by computers and if no mistakes are found, the refund can be sent out. If any errors are detected, it will need to be reviewed by an IRS employee, which means delays.

"You want to have something that flows through electronically and smoothly. You don't want to have any human intervention to get your return," MacClellan said.

If you received child tax credit payments, be on the lookout for the 6419 letter from the IRS. If you file without it, it could mean more delays.

There is some good news this year, including more credits for child care.

"So a family that is paying day care for 2 kids could get an $8,000 tax credit," MacClellan said.

The charitable deduction has been increased from $300 to $600 for couples filing jointly. And self-employed taxpayers are eligible for a credit if they had to take sick leave due to COVID.

Experts say the most important thing is to avoid mistakes, and don't count on calling the IRS for help.

"They are only answering about 9% of their phone calls," MacClellan said.

Filing early can also help. If you are due a refund, get your return in as soon as you can.

The IRS says most taxpayers who file electronically will get their refunds within three weeks.

Also, if you think you can dodge the IRS by using cryptocurrency, MacClellan says the agency is getting better at tracking that.

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