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What to do if you haven't filed your taxes yet

The majority of taxpayers have yet to send in their returns. damircudic/Getty Images

The filing deadline for the 2022 tax year is April 18, 2023. That's a slight reprieve from past years when the deadline was April 15th and is a result of April 15th falling on a Saturday and April 17th being a federal holiday, Emancipation Day, in Washington, D.C. If you're a resident of California or parts of Alabama and Georgia, you have until Oct. 16, 2023, to file your federal taxes as a result of the 2022-23 winter storms.

The IRS expects about 168 million households or individuals to file taxes this year. And according to the most recent data available, only about 63 million returns were received as of March 10, 2023. That means the majority of taxpayers have yet to send in their returns.

If you're one of these taxpayers, don't panic. There's still plenty of time to submit your return. We'll break down some quick ways to do it in this article.

Start filing your tax return today with TurboTax.

What to do if you haven't filed your taxes yet

Here's what you should keep in mind while you prepare your 2022 tax return.

Take advantage of tax filing software

Filing out your tax returns manually can be a pain. It can take a long time, you need to follow sometimes-complicated instructions, and you must do all the calculations yourself. Save time, stress and money by using tax software instead.

Sites like TurboTax, H&R Block and walk you through your return step by step to ensure you don't miss anything. Depending on how complex your tax situation is, you could finish in as little as 15 minutes.

Take your time

If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you still have a full four weeks until the deadline. So don't rush your return. While tax software checks the information you enter for potential errors, it's not infallible. It's up to you to enter your information correctly and double-check it before submitting your return.

Make sure you've entered all numbers correctly, from your income to your Social Security number, and that you've selected the appropriate filling status. If you don't, it could delay your refund or result in an incorrect amount. It could also trigger a tax audit, which no one wants to deal with.

Don't forget deductions and credits

Tax software covers potential deductions and credits you may be able to claim. But you might have the option of skipping over ones you don't think you qualify for. It's best to take a few extra minutes to go through each one just in case you may qualify for one you weren't expecting. That said, some might be obvious to skip. If you have no children, it's pretty safe to assume you won't qualify for the Child Tax Credit.

Be prepared for a smaller return

If the return you calculate is lower than you expected, it doesn't necessarily mean you entered anything wrong. Tax breaks and credits instituted during COVID are no longer in effect, so don't count on your refund being the same amount it has been the past couple of years.

So far, average 2022 refunds have been 11% lower than they were for the 2021 tax year, according to the IRS. As long as you've entered your information correctly, you can count on tax software like TurboTax to give you the right refund amount.

Request an extension

If necessary, you can request an extension from the IRS. Just bear in mind that while an extension pushes back your filing deadline, it doesn't buy you extra time to pay your taxes. You must pay your estimated tax debt by the April 18th deadline or you'll incur late-payment penalties and interest.

The bottom line

Don't stress out if you have yet to file your 2022 tax return. You have plenty of time to do so, especially if you use tax software that simplifies the process for you.

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