Help available for Utahns to get the most out of their tax refunds

Jan 26, 2023, 7:25 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Tax season kicked off this week. In today’s “Save More, Worry Less,” KSL TV’s Tamara Vaifanua tells us what you need to know about filing your taxes this year.

This year’s deadline has been extended from April 15 to April 18 because it falls on the weekend.

The most noticeable change people will see this year is smaller refunds because of the end of pandemic-era tax breaks. But the good news is, there’s free help available.

This year, the IRS is expected to process 168 million returns.

“We still expect 21 days to get that refund back, so file sooner,” said Susan Speirs, CEO of the Utah Association of CPAs.

Spiers said refunds are going to be smaller this year than last year. That’s because the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and dependent care credit are returning to 2018 levels.

“You could get $3,600 per child, but that goes away. This year, the tax credit goes back to pre-pandemic levels, which is $2,000 per child, if you qualify.”

You’ll no longer get to take what’s called an “above-the-line deduction” for charitable deductions up to $399 plus the standard deduction.

“It’s kind of like we’re back to business as usual.”

If you bought a new electric vehicle after Aug. 16, you could qualify for a tax credit up to $7,500.

“It’s a nervous time because taxes are something we do once a year,” said Greg McDonald, executive director of Tax Help Utah.

His group of volunteers will help file taxes for $25,000, free of charge.

“Our income limit is $60,000 if you have children, $35,000 if you’re single,” McDonald said.

People can make in-person and virtual appointments, or get free DIY software. You can also call 2-1-1 to get free advice.

Through their program, they help people determine if they’re eligible for the earned income tax credit.

“60,000 people a year in Utah are eligible for the earned income tax credit and they don’t get it.”

If you earned $73,000 in 2022, you can file your taxes online for free at irs.gov.

If you want a quick refund, e-file your return, have your documents ready, and select direct deposit. You should get it within 21 days.

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Help available for Utahns to get the most out of their tax refunds