What You Need to Know for the 2024 Tax Season

Filing your tax return serves as an annual reminder of just how tediously complex the American tax code is — and this year is no exception.

It’s not as messy as the pandemic years, but there are plenty of new provisions taking effect, and some changes could potentially land midseason.

Procrastination may cost you: Interest on unpaid taxes and late penalties (yes, even penalties accrue interest) have more than doubled to 8 percent from just a couple years ago.

Here are some of the latest changes to keep in mind as the filing deadline — April 15, or April 17 for Maine and Massachusetts residents — approaches.

Can I file my return using the Internal Revenue Service’s new — and free — service?

Starting in mid-March, certain residents in a dozen states are expected to have the option to electronically file their returns using the I.R.S.’s Direct File program. The system, which is in a limited pilot, is slowly rolling out in phases, and will be accessible only to taxpayers with relatively simple tax situations.

To be eligible, taxpayers must have income limited to wages reported on Form W-2, Social Security or unemployment, as well as interest income of $1,500 or less. They must also claim the standard deduction (and not itemize their deductions).

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