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The IRS began accepting and processing federal tax returns as the opening of the 2024 tax filing season got underway on Monday. 

More than 146 million tax returns for the 2023 tax year are expected to be processed during the 2024 filing season, which has a deadline to file and pay any tax owed by April 15. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17 to file due to state holidays and any taxpayer in a federally declared disaster zone may also have additional time to file. 

The IRS will be extending service hours in nearly 250 Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the country, said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. The online  Where’s My Refund? tool on IRS.gov will add more details for taxpayers checking on the status of their tax refund. 

The IRS encourages people to file their tax returns electronically and choose direct deposit for faster refunds. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. 

Free online and in-person tax preparation options for qualifying taxpayers are available through the IRS Free File program and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs, the IRS said. 

A trusted tax professional can also prepare tax returns and provide helpful information and advice. People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications to find a preparer who is skilled in tax preparation and accurately files income tax returns. 

Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service, the IRS said. However, choosing the wrong tax return preparer hurts taxpayers financially every year. Find out more on the IRS’s tips for choosing a tax preparer and how to avoid unethical “ghost” return preparers.