Tax season begins Monday, but your return might be smaller than last year

Tax season officially begins Monday, but some changes mean you might see a smaller refund this year than in years prior. 

There have been changes to several popular tax breaks since the last time you filed your tax returns, including an end to stimulus payments and the expiration of the enhanced child credit.

A special pandemic-era tax break for charitable deductions has also been taken away.

RELATED: IRS ends COVID-19 tax credits: Here's what you need to know before filing in 2023

The IRS says it will begin accepting and processing 2022 tax returns on Monday, but if you want your return quickly, you are strongly advised to do it electronically, and not via mail. 

People who file their returns electronically can expect to get their refund in around 21 days, assuming they choose direct deposit and their return has no problems. But people who submit returns on paper via mail are likely to end up getting stuck in the agency's massive backlog.

This year, you will have three extra days to file your taxes, because the 15th is a Saturday and Monday the 17th is Emancipation Day, so the 18th is the new deadline. 

"I can't stress this enough to people, but if you need an extension, just go ahead and file that form 4868 with the IRS," financial expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox told NPR. "That will give you an extra six months and then you'll have until Monday, Oct. 16, to actually submit your taxes."

This year, the IRS has added over 5,000 new employees to help support taxpayers. More than 168,000,000 individual tax returns are expected to be filed.