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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions. 

This week’s episode starts with a conversation about how to know if you can file your taxes for free.

Then we pivot to this week’s money question segment, where we answer a number of questions about filing taxes in 2023.

Check out this episode on any of these platforms:

Our take on filing taxes in 2023

One of the most important things to know about filing taxes in 2023 is the deadline: This year, your tax return is due to the IRS by April 18. If you can’t meet that, you’ll want to file for an extension to avoid penalties. Also, a number of pandemic-era tax benefits have expired, which means that people may see smaller tax refunds than in recent years. On the bright side, the standard deduction is higher this year due to the standard inflation adjustment. 

If you are new to filing taxes, realize that it might be easier than you think. This is especially true if your tax situation is fairly simple — meaning you have a single source of income and didn’t have any major life changes, like getting married or buying a house, in the past year. And if your adjusted gross income was $73,000 or less, you can file for free

But if your tax situation is fairly complex — such as if you are married and filing separately, have multiple sources of income or received dividends from investments — hiring the help of a qualified tax professional can save you a lot of angst. Regardless of whether you hire help or go the DIY route, have some understanding of the “why” behind your tax situation to optimize your taxes in future years

Our tips

  1. Just file your taxes. Even though it’s stressful, the penalties of procrastinating are not worth it.
  2. Make sure you understand your taxes. Whether you’re filing jointly for the first time, dealing with freelance income or have an unexpected tax bill, dig into the “why” behind your situation for a smoother tax season next year.
  3. Get help. There are lots of great ways to get help with your taxes. Many of the online tax preparation services offer live help from a CPA. And you can also hire someone locally.

Have a money question? Text or call us at 901-730-6373. Or you can email us at To hear previous episodes, go to the podcast homepage.