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As Tax Season Begins, IRS Announces Extended Hours and Other Expanded Services

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jan 29, 2024

gettyimages-921349616 Tax Time

The 2024 tax filing season opened Jan. 29, and the IRS announced that it will be extending hours of service in nearly 250 Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country, working to continue improvements on its phone service, expanding online tools and adding more details to its Where’s My Refund? tool on

The deadline to file a 2023 tax return and pay any tax owed is April 15, except in Massachusetts and Maine, where the deadline is April 17. Taxpayers residing in a federally declared disaster area may have additional time to file. The IRS said it expects more than 146 million individual tax returns for 2023 to be filed this filing season.

"The start of a tax season is an important day for the nation and for the IRS," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel during a press conference on Jan. 26, Accounting Today reported. "Behind the scenes at the IRS, we've been working for months to be ready to help taxpayers and make the process of filing taxes as easy and smooth as possible. It takes many long months of planning and preparing as well as programming and testing to get to the opening of filing season. This is a big job, but it's a critical one for the nation. Tax season is a unique right of citizenship."

Werfel also said that he anticipated the IRS to issue more than $300 billion in refunds this year.

The IRS credited the expanded Tax Assistance Center hours and other improved services to funding and staffing made possible under the Inflation Reduction Act, which is being used across the IRS to improve taxpayer service, add new technology and tools as well as help tax compliance efforts.

“This is another example of how additional IRS resources are helping taxpayers across the country,” said Werfel. “Adding extra hours provide more options for hard-working taxpayers to get help with their tax issues. The IRS is continuing to work hard both during the upcoming tax season and throughout the year to find ways to make it easier for people to interact with us.” 

"We’re inviting anyone who wants or needs some assistance to stop by," said IRS Wage & Investment Division Commissioner and Taxpayer Experience Officer Ken Corbin. "This is one more way the IRS is delivering expanded services to help visitors resolve their tax issues, make a payment or answer general tax-related questions. Whatever the case, we’re offering additional time for taxpayers to get the face-to-face help they may need."

The extended office hours will continue through Tuesday, April 16. To see if a nearby Taxpayer Assistance Center is offering extended hours, taxpayers can visit the  Contact your local office page on Normally, the centers are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and operate by appointment.

“For months, IRS employees have been working hard to be ready to help taxpayers and make tax season as easy and smooth as possible,” Werfel said in an official statement. “We’ve taken important steps to add more improvements to help taxpayers, ranging from expanded in-person hours, better online options and improved phone service.”

Despite the improvements and the optimism, the IRS faces some uncertainty as Congress continues to haggle over the details of the federal budget. Last-minute tax law changes could include a revival of certain tax breaks, such as a more generous Child Tax Credit.

"There's a lack of understanding on Capitol Hill of the difficulty of implementing retroactive tax legislation," said Dave Kautter, a former IRS acting commissioner and a former assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax policy who is now a partner and federal specialty tax leader at RSM US, Accounting Today reported. "It's essential to have conversations between Capitol Hill and the IRS on this type of retroactive legislation that's going through Congress."

Werfel seemed prepared for the possibility of retroactive changes, in an interview with Accounting Today.

"Going back many, many years, there have been times like this, where Congress is considering changes to the Tax Code, either right before filing season or right after filing season begins," he said. "Fortunately, the IRS has deep experience assessing and reviewing these types of packages, and then quickly updating our operations to implement them. And that's what we're doing this cycle. We have communicated based on the latest versions of the bill that have been published, that we can and will implement these tax provisions within weeks after they're enacted."

He added that taxpayers shouldn't wait to file until Congress decides what to do. "We urge and encourage taxpayers to file when they're ready," said Werfel. "Don't wait on Congress. If there's a change that impacts your return, we will make the change and we will send you the update, whether it's an additional refund or otherwise, without you having to take any steps."

Doreen Greenwald, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said, "This year there are more IRS employees standing ready, around the country, to help individuals and businesses navigate the 2024 filing season, which is only possible because Congress and the Biden administration have focused on rebuilding the IRS workforce," in a statement reported by Accounting Today. "NTEU is proud to represent the frontline IRS workers who are dedicated to serving taxpayers during the filing season and year-round." 

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