It’s almost that time of the year… tax season. Experts say there are a few changes this year that could impact your filing. 

“The most important thing is you need to get started,” said Andy Mattingly, Chief Operating Officer at Forum Credit Union.

The 2023 tax season starts at the end of January.

“A lot of people like to put it off but it’s really important to get started early for several reasons,” Mattingly said.

He says you should start thinking about filing now. Filing early gives you more time for a complicated return and better access to tax experts.  

“The other thing is the longer you have to get certain documents because things get lost in the mail,” Mattingly said.

One of the most important reasons to file early is to avoid tax fraud. 

“One of the rising things we see is people will file a tax return in your name because your social security number got out in a breach,” Mattingly said. “They’ll file a tax return and get a refund , then you’ll go to file and won’t be able to. It’s a real mess.”

But that’s not the only scam you need to keep in mind. 

“I would be careful using a service you’ve never heard of that’s offering stuff for free because you do want to be careful of people just trying to get your information to get your identity,” Mattingly said.

Mattingly recommends visiting the IRS’ website for a list of places to file your return. Also– keep in mind some of the changes to the 2023 tax season.

“The income tax brackets are changing a little bit,” Mattingly said. “The rates aren’t changing, but they’re going up, so you might not be in the same bracket you were before so that’s a positive.”

The child tax credit is also changing. Mattingly recommends seeking out a tax expert if you’re unsure of how these changes affect your return.

“One thing people get concerned with is ‘Oh, I’m going to owe taxes,’” Mattingly said. “That’s fine. You can file your taxes but don’t have to make the payment until the due date.”

The tax filing deadline for all federal tax returns and payments is April 18th. Companies are required to issue your W-2 by January 31st. If you are willing to accept it electronically, you could receive it earlier to get started on your filing.