Three moves to get your tax refund faster in 2023

Avoid calling the IRS on Mondays, triple-check for errors, don’t mail a return if you don’t have to, and other tax advice for this year’s tax season

Illustration of people working to prepare their taxes.
(Donna Grethen for The Washington Post)
6 min

The last few tax seasons were dominated by backlogs. Here’s hoping this year will be different.

Or at least, in the words of National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, it’s “the year we stopped talking about a backlog.”

In her annual report to Congress earlier this month, Collins commended the IRS for making “considerable progress in reducing the volume of unprocessed returns and correspondence.” The agency has slashed its massive backlog of unprocessed tax returns by nearly two-thirds, to about 4 million, in the past year.

But Collins expects the IRS will continue to struggle with customer service.

“We have begun to see light at the end of the tunnel,” she wrote. “I am just not sure how much further we need to travel before we see sunlight.”

Here are the questions I’m asked most often when a new tax season starts. Here’s what I know: