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Taxpayers are cautioned that refunds are likely to be smaller this year

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Your tax refund could be smaller this year. To find out why, we spoke with Jan Lewis. She's a certified public accountant in Mississippi.

JAN LEWIS: The last couple of years, because of COVID relief, additional credits, the stimulus payments, things like that - that resulted in more credits on tax returns, therefore bigger refunds because of those COVID programs. Most all, if not all, of those additional COVID relief credits are now gone.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The IRS starts accepting 2022 tax returns today.

LEWIS: It might hurt that you're used to getting a $1,200 refund, and you only get a $200 refund. But is that an opportunity for all of us to try to understand what a tax refund is? It's where I have paid in more tax than what I owe.

FADEL: As you get ready to file your tax return, Lewis has some advice.

LEWIS: Regardless of whether you have a big refund or not, file electronically. Filing by paper slows down the process.

INSKEEP: And of course, it would be nice to get your refund faster.

LEWIS: Use direct deposit because your refund will come quicker. I think that's good advice for everyone.

FADEL: And Lewis recommends filing early.

LEWIS: Let's say you aren't getting as big a refund or heaven forbid, let's say you owe money. The sooner you get that calculated - the tax isn't owed until April 18. But just knowing and then being able to plan forward over the next couple of months is better than finding that out on April the 13.

FADEL: And if you need to ask for an extension, those requests are due by April 18 too. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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