Tax season begins; Beware of a ‘Refund Shock’

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 3:47 PM CST
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MADISON., Wis. (WMTV/KKTV) – Tax time is here again. As of Monday, Americans can start filing their income tax returns. As they do, though, tax filers may be in for what a Jackson Hewitt Tax Service expert is calling a “refund shock.”

“We had a recovery rebate credit, which was good for $600, $1,200, or $1,400 per individual. But this year that’s gone,” David Fruh explained, adding that people should be prepared for refunds more like the ones they saw in 2018 or 2019, that is before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fruh attributed the coming return shock to the end of stimulus money for a recovery rebate tax credit and a slew of tax credits reverting to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, he noted, some tax credits that families received over the past couple of years are also changing.

“The child tax credit, which was good for $3,600 last year, has changed to $2,000 per qualifying child,” Fruh pointed out. “Also, the Dependent Care Credit, which was good up to $8,000 last year, is back down to $1,221 this year.”

The one bit of good news is for those who wait until the last minute. They have an extra 4,320 minutes this year, with taxes not due until April 18.

Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue offers help

With the start of tax season, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue wants to remind people its staff is prepared to help them complete their forms and answer their questions.

The Revenue Dept. encouraged people to sign up for its My Tax Account management portal. People who have ever filed a tax return in Wisconsin can register as a personal user. As soon as they do, taxpayers can manage their income tax and homestead credit accounts, make payments, view letters, and check their balances, along with other services.

Taxpayers can also make their accounts more secure by creating a Wisconsin Identity Protection PIN. The number, which is good for state forms only and is separate from a federal PIN, can be used on all Wisconsin tax forms for 2021 and 2022. They are designed to prevent someone from filing a return in another person’s name. More information on the PIN is available here.

The Department of Revenue’s call center is, as always, available to answer questions or help with issues, as well. For individuals, the number is 608-266-2486 while businesses can call 608-266-2776. It is normally open from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday. On six days (listed below), the office will stay open a little longer for people who cannot get to a phone during normal times.

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