Tax Changes, Tips & Help for 2022 Returns

tax changes, tips & help represented by April 18 tax day calendar page

There are 2022  tax return changes, tips and help you should be aware of before filing with the IRS. Whether you do your taxes by hand, use software, or hire a professional, you’ll need to gather income tax related backup documents and receipts. Below are some important 2022 tax return changes, tips & help. Although the best source of tax information is the Internal Revenue Service itself, I hope these tips will make your 2022 tax return task a little less tedious.


IRS Tax Return Changes for 2022

April 18 is the tax deadline for most taxpayers.

The tax deadline is extended to October 16 for disaster area taxpayers in Alabama, California and Georgia. See IRS Newsroom.

Tax Brackets have changed slightly. See Bankrate.com.

The Standard Deduction. For married couples filing jointly the standard deduction increases to $25,900. The standard deduction for single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately increases to $12,950. Heads of households have a standard deduction of $19,400.

The Child Tax Credit. Parents may only claim $2,000 per child under the age of 17. The amount of the credit phases out when your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) reaches $400,000 on a joint return, or $200,000 on a single or head-of-household return. The child tax credit is no longer fully refundable.

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. For 2022, the full child and dependent care credit will only be allowed for families making less than $15,000 a year. After that, the credit starts to phase out. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is non-refundable. The credit is only allowed for up to $3,000 in expenses for one child/dependent and $6,000 for more than one. When the 35% maximum credit percentage is applied, that makes the top credit $1,050 for one child/dependent and $2,100 for more.

Charitable Contributions. For 2022, you must itemize deductions to claim a tax break for charitable donations.

Electric Car Credit. Buyers can claim a credit if the car meets certain eligibility rules.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Credit. Credit is available as long as the station meets certain requirements.

More Tax Return Changes and Details. For more 2022 tax return changes see the IRS Newsroom.

Tax Return Tips

Information you May Need
Alimony paid or received
Business income and expenses
Charitable contributions, cash
Charitable contributions, non-cash
Residential clean or efficient energy improvement costs for solar panels, water heaters, etc..
Daycare expenses: Costs for day care or after-school programs
Dependent care expenses
Electric car purchase documents
Employee moving expenses
Employee business expenses
Employee home office expenses
Employment income: W-2 form
Gambling income & losses
Health insurance expenses
Health insurance reimbursements
Health savings account contributions and distributions
Interest expense
Interest income
Investment forms: capital gains, dividend income, retirement distributions, etc..
Loan forms: Home mortgage, student loans, forgiven personal loans, etc..
Medical and dental expenses
Partnership K-1 forms
Real estate tax bills
Real estate statements regarding the sale or purchase of property
Rental and royalty income and expenses
Social security benefits
Taxes paid
Tax refunds
Unemployment income form

Tax Deductions You Might Miss
If you itemize expenses make sure you include all the deductions you’re entitled to. The best place to learn about deductions is the IRS’s Credits and Deductions for Individuals page. You might also be interested in The 10 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions.

IRS Red Flags
Of course you should use all the itemized deductions you’re entitled to, but sometimes the rules aren’t clear. Here’s a list of Questionable Deductions that might cause the IRS to flag your return. You want to avoid that at all costs. Anyone who has been audited by the IRS can tell you what a pain in the neck it is.

Special Payments Made by States. In 2022 some states made payments to people related to general welfare and disaster relief. Find out if you need to report these payments at Guidance on State Payments.

Which Records To Keep & Toss
Get suggestions for what personal records to keep and what to toss at What Personal Documents Should You Keep and for How Long? Generally speaking, you should keep tax related records 3-7 years. For specifics, see How Long Should I Keep Tax Records?  Frankly, rather than figuring out how long to keep various records,  I just keep everything for seven years.

Ways To File

  • Prepare and mail paper returns yourself (free).
  • E-file using commercial software. See reviews of popular software at nerdwallet.com. To check for a better price do an online search for the program’s name + “coupon.”
  • Find local tax pros authorized by the IRS to e-file: See  Authorized Providers
  • Find national or tax preparation companies near you: See the Financial Matters category at HabiLinks guide for national tax preparation companies. If you’d rather work with a smaller company or an individual, search the web for “tax preparation services (city).”
  • File online for free with an IRS Free File provider. Access details from IRS free file, not the brand’s home page. Best for 2022 adjusted gross income (AGI) of $73,000 or less.
  • Free tax return preparation for qualified taxpayers. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help and e-file for taxpayers who qualify. Learn more about free tax return preparation.

Tax Return Help

Answers to common taxquestions:  Internal Revenue Service

Find the status of your refund:  Where’s My Refund

Get Federal Tax Forms & Publications

  • Online: IRS.gov
  • Local: IRS   Taxpayer Assistance Centers
  • Order by phone: Call 1 800 829-3676 to order forms, instructions and publications.
  • Get State Tax Forms & Publications: Search online for “income tax forms” + state.

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