Tax season has officially begun. But it also feels like, "oh no, tax season has officially begun."
We know the feeling, which is why USA Today's putting together a series of stories to make the season go smoothly for you. This coverage will help you stay updated with need-to-know information like deadlines and tax brackets, as well as tax tips and explainers of the most important forms to have on hand.
Be sure to follow our coverage for the latest stories or sign up for our tax newsletter so you can get these updates emailed directly to you. Together, we hope to get you across that April 18 deadline on time and fully sane.
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Tax filing deadlines to know
The Internal Revenue Service started accepting and processing tax returns on Monday, Jan. 23. Employers are required to send you your W-2 by Jan. 31. Most 1099 forms are due by the end of January as well. Taxes are due by April 18 but aren't due until May 15 for residents in parts of California impacted by recent storms. If you're granted an extension, you'll have until Oct. 16 to file.
Read more: IRS announces tax filing deadlines 2023
What are the 2022 US federal tax brackets?
A tax bracket is a range of incomes subject to a particular income tax rate. The IRS adjusts tax brackets every year to account for inflation, so the threshold for each of the seven tax brackets increased from 2021 to 2022. The IRS has already released tax brackets for this year that will be filed in 2024 based on average annual chained consumer price index from August 2021 to 2022, a period of historically high inflation.
2022 tax brackets: See individual, joint, head of household return brackets
File taxes early for a chance to double your refund money
Tax preparer Jackson Hewitt is hosting a weekly "Double Your Refund" sweepstakes this tax season, awarding 40 winners a matched cash prize equivalent to the value of their federal tax refund. Jackson Hewitt is also selecting 40 runner-up entrants each week to win $400. You can gain a sweepstakes entry by filing your taxes with Jackson Hewitt or, if you don't file your taxes with them, by mailing in an entry by the Monday of the following week.
Double your tax refund: File early for a chance to win with Jackson Hewitt
What are 1099, W-4, W-2, W-9 and 1040 forms?
As tax season begins, it's important to understand the tax forms sent to you or the ones you're required to complete.
W-9: Form typically used by independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers to provide identifying information such as your Social Security or tax identification number
1099: Used to report income that isn't directly earned through an employer
W-4: Tells your direct employer how much federal income tax should be withheld from your paycheck
W-2: Form your employer sends you by the end of January documenting how much money you earned working for them and how much tax was withheld from your paychecks
1040: Umbrella form for individual tax return
5695: Declares any residential energy credits you may qualify for
Explore the forms: 1099, W-4, W-2, W-9, 1040 explained
What is OASDI?
OASDI tax, often referred to simply as "Social Security," is the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program. This tax is one part of FICA, which funds Social Security and Medicare. OASDI taxes are a 6.2% flat rate taken out of employees' paychecks and matched by employers. Self-employed individuals pay a higher rate of 12.4% for OASDI tax.
What is OASDI tax on my paycheck?: Why we pay this federal tax
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tax filing tips: What to know to help get biggest refund on 2022 taxes