By Reagan Van Coutren, 2022 Get It Back Campaign Intern
This year, Tax Day is on Tuesday, April 18, 2023! Filing your taxes doesn’t have to be difficult. Even if you don’t make enough money to be required to file, it is likely worth doing so. Filing taxes and claiming tax credits can help put money in your pockets at tax time.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading for answers to your questions so that you can confidently file your taxes this year.
Click any of the following links to jump to a section:
- Do I have to file taxes?
- What documents do I need to file?
- Am I eligible for any tax credits?
- Is it too late to get tax credits from last year?
- Do I need to file for an extension?
1. Do I have to file taxes?
Even if you aren’t required to file taxes, you may want to so you can claim tax credits that you are eligible for (see #3 below). Some tax credits provide money back even if you don’t owe taxes. Filing requirements vary each year and are based on factors such as your income, filing status, age, and special circumstances. Learn more about this year’s tax filing requirements.
Are you an Uber driver, a DoorDasher, or any other rideshare or food courier service worker? Filing taxes with income from these sources is different since you are self-employed. Self-employment tax is a separate tax that you must pay to the federal government to fund Medicare and Social Security. If you earn more than $400 from all your platform/self-employment work (Uber, Lyft, etc.), then you must report your earnings to the IRS and pay self-employment tax. Learn more about filing taxes as a rideshare driver or a food delivery courier.
2. What documents do I need to file?
Not sure what documents you need to file a tax return? We’ve got you covered with our tax checklist.
Once you have your documents ready, decide how you will file your taxes. For in-person free help, find your local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or AARP Tax-Aide site. Volunteers must pass an annual IRS test to be certified before providing trained tax help (unlike paid return preparers).
If there isn’t a free tax site near you, you can get help filing your taxes for free online through GetYourRefund.org. You can also file your own taxes online for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. Find out more about free tax prep help.
3. Am I eligible for any tax credits?
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) can help boost your refund at tax time and help you better afford the rising costs of essentials.
Additionally, 31 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have state-level EITCs and 11 states have adopted a state child tax credit. State credits direct more money to eligible filers.
4. Is it too late to get tax credits from last year?
The short answer is no! Tax credits from previous years, including the 2021 expanded EITC, the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit, as well as stimulus checks from 2020 and 2021, are available for up to 3 years past the original tax deadline. If you missed out on any of these credits, you can file your 2021 federal tax return by April 18, 2025, to claim them.
5. Do I need to file for an extension?
If you don’t owe taxes and are due a refund, you can file taxes after the April 18, 2023, deadline without an extension. As mentioned above, you have up to three years to file your return and claim tax credits you qualify for.
If you owe taxes and are unable to submit your return on time, you can file for a six-month extension. This will allow you to file your 2022 tax return through October 16, 2023. An extension does not provide more time to pay taxes owed. If you owe taxes, make your estimated payment by April 18th. If you are unable to pay the full amount you owe, learn about your payment options.
You may need to file for an extension if you need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs are issued to people who are unable to get a Social Security number (SSN) and who need to file a tax return. The ITIN application can be complicated and must be attached to the tax return for which it is needed. Dependents listed on a return also need an ITIN if they cannot get an SSN.
The IRS requires an ITIN applicant to file their tax return by the IRS due date — this year, April 18 — to claim any tax credits they’re eligible for, such as the Child Tax Credit. If preparing the ITIN application may delay submitting the return, filing for an extension provides more time and maintains eligibility for those tax credits.
- VITA Locator: find free tax help near you.
- GetYourRefund: use this online tool to file your taxes for free.
- EITC Estimator: learn how big your Earned Income Tax Credit refund could be.
- Self-Employment Estimated Payment Calculator: find out how much you may owe in self-employment taxes.
- How to get an ITIN: learn how to file taxes if you don’t have an SSN.