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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Almost Tax Season

Jan 09, 2024 09:09AM ● By Donna Walker

Tax Filing Season Set To Begin Jan. 29

The Internal Revenue Service announced Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, as the official start date of the nation’s 2024 tax season when the agency will begin accepting and processing 2023 tax returns. 


The IRS expects more than 128.7 million individual tax returns to be filed by the April 15, 2024, tax deadline. 


Although the IRS will not officially begin accepting and processing tax returns until Jan. 29, people do not need to wait until then to work on their taxes if they’re using software companies or tax professionals, IRS officials said.


For example, most software companies accept electronic submissions and then hold them until the IRS is ready to begin processing later this month.


IRS Free File will also be available on starting Jan. 12 in advance of the filing season opening.


The IRS Direct File pilot will be rolled out in phases as final testing is completed and is expected to be widely available in mid-March to eligible taxpayers in the participating states. 


Building off the success of the 2023 tax season that saw significant improvements following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the 2024 filing season will continue reflecting the focus on improving services to taxpayers, IRS officials said.  


Some of the new, expanded tools and resources include: 

*Expanded in-person service that meets taxpayers where they are by opening or reopening Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs). The IRS will also offer extended hours at many TACs nationwide. 


* Increased help available on the toll-free line and an expanded customer call back feature designed to significantly reduce wait times. 


* Improvements to the “Where's My Refund” tool, which is the IRS' most widely used taxpayer service tool. However, the tool provides limited information, often leading taxpayers to call the IRS to inquire about their refund status.


Updates to Where's My Refund will allow taxpayers to see more detailed refund status messages in plain language. These updates will also ensure “Where's My Refund” works seamlessly on mobile devices.


Taxpayers often see a generic message stating that their returns are still being processed and to check back later. With the improvements, taxpayers will see clearer and more detailed updates, including whether the IRS needs them to respond to a letter requesting additional information. IRS officials said the new updates will reduce the need for taxpayers to call the agency for answers to basic questions.  


* Enhanced paperless processing that will enable taxpayers to submit all correspondence, non-tax forms, and responses to notices digitally and will be able to e-File 20 additional tax forms. Achieving this milestone will enable up to 125 million paper documents to be submitted digitally per year, according to IRS officials.


* An enhanced IRS Individual Online Account that includes chat, the option to schedule and cancel future payments, revise payment plans and validate and save bank accounts. 


* A new, pilot tax filing service called Direct File that gives eligible taxpayers a new choice to file their 2023 federal tax returns online, for free, directly with the IRS. It will be rolled out in phases and is expected to be widely available in mid-March. Find more about Direct File pilot eligibility, scope and the participating states on Direct File


Also, according to the IRS:

April 15 is the tax filing deadline for most taxpayers 

For most taxpayers, the deadline to file their personal federal tax return, pay any tax owed or request an extension to file is Monday, April 15, 2024. 

Taxpayers living in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2024, due to the Patriot’s Day and Emancipation Day holidays. If a taxpayer resides in a federally declared disaster area, they also may have additional time to file. 


Tips to help people file in 2024 

The IRS encourages taxpayers to take steps now to “Get Ready” to file their 2023 individual federal tax return. It’s important for filers to gather all the correct information they need before filing their return. Organize and gather tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Identification Numbers and this year’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PIN).


Filing an accurate return can help taxpayers avoid refund delays or later IRS mailings  about a problem. 


People should report all their taxable income and wait to file until they receive all income related documents. This is especially important for people who may receive various Forms 1099 from banks or other payers reporting unemployment compensationdividendspensions, annuities or retirement plan distributions.


If a taxpayer receives Forms 1099-K, they should visit What to do with Form 1099-K to help them determine if that money should be reported as income on their federal tax return. 


People should plan to file electronically with direct deposit. This is still the fastest and easiest way to file and receive a refund. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns whenever possible. 


IRS Free File; opens Jan. 12; free service on has helped millions 

IRS Free File will open Jan. 12, 2024, when participating software companies will accept completed tax returns and hold them until they can be filed electronically with the IRS. IRS Free File Guided Tax Software, available only at, is available to any taxpayer or family with Adjusted Gross Income of $79,000 or less in 2023. 

Beginning Jan. 29, 2024, Free File Fillable forms, a part of this effort, are available at no cost to any income level and provides electronic forms that people can fill out and e-file themselves also at no cost. 


Most refunds issued in less than 21 days; EITC refunds for many available starting Feb. 27 

Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund after the IRS receives a return. Although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer. The easiest way to check a refund’s status is by using Where’s My Refund? on or the IRS2Go app. 


Under the federal Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS cannot issue Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds before mid-February. Where’s My Refund? should show an updated status by Feb. 17 for most early EITC/ACTC filers. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by Feb. 27 if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return., IRS Online Account provide free help 

Go to to find online tools to help get information needed to file a complete and accurate return. A few resources: 


IRS Individual Online Account: Individuals with a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification number can log-in or sign-up for an IRS Individual Online Account to securely access information about their federal tax account, view balance and payment options, view and approve authorizations from their tax professional, view digital copies of select IRS notices and get information on their most recently filed return that includes their Adjusted Gross Income. 


Interactive Tax Assistant: The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) is a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to individual circumstances. Based on input, it can determine if a person should file a tax return, their filing status, if someone can be claimed as a dependent, if a type of income is taxable, if a filer is eligible to claim a credit or if an expense can be deducted. 


Choosing a tax pro: People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications to find a preparer who is skilled in tax preparation and accurately files income tax returns. Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, choosing the wrong tax return preparer hurts taxpayers financially every year. Be sure to check tips for choosing a tax preparer and how to avoid unethical "ghost" return preparers


Free tax help by IRS certified volunteers: Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, volunteers are available in communities nationwide to provide free tax assistance to low-to-moderate income (generally under $64,000 in adjusted gross income) and elderly taxpayers (age 60 and older). At selected sites, taxpayers can input and electronically fi­le their own tax return with the assistance of an IRS certified volunteer. For additional information, visit Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers


Help for the military: A Department of Defense program, MilTax generally offers free return preparation and electronic filing software for federal income tax returns and up to three state income tax returns for all military members, and some veterans, with no income limit. 


Key 2024 filing season dates:

Jan. 12: IRS Free File opens.

Jan. 29: Filing season start date for individual tax returns.

April 15: Due date of filing a tax return or to request an extension for most of the nation.

Oct. 15: Due date for extension filers.

South Carolina Small Business Development Centers Names Kostas Ioannidis as Orangeburg Area Manager

The South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) announced the appointment of Kostas Ioannidis as the Orangeburg Area SBDC Manager, overseeing operations and personnel for the Orangeburg area in the South Carolina State University Region.


In 2022, under Ioannidis's leadership and guidance, the Greenville Area SBDC achieved significant milestones, including acquiring businesses totaling $659,550.00, establishing 22 new businesses, and expanding six existing businesses.


Notably, Ioannidis was crucial in facilitating positive changes in the employment landscape, creating 220 full-time and 163 part-time jobs. The impact on the local economy is reflected by the increase in sales of $27,731,033 and the retention of 560 jobs.


Ioannidis has obtained $40,403,154 in capital funding for 73 businesses and secured contract awards totaling $56.1 million across three ventures. His commitment to fostering business growth and development is expressed in the testimonials from satisfied clients who have benefited from his expertise.


"Kostas Ioannidis is an experienced business consultant with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs navigate challenges and achieve success," said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham.


Abraham added, "His passion for supporting businesses, coupled with his diverse skill sets in areas such as accounting, acquisitions, business planning and strategy, and financial projections, make him a valuable asset to our team."


Ioannidis' areas of expertise also extend to construction/design, customer service, data analysis/processing and real estate development.


Officials say his proficiency in handling large, complex projects, particularly in feasibility analysis and trustworthy Pro Forma creation, positions him as a sought-after consultant for entrepreneurs seeking funding for their ventures.

Building Business East of the Cooper: Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board

The Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce (MPCC) announced its 2024 board of directors, a diverse and accomplished group of individuals committed to encouraging business and community success East of the Cooper.


The incoming board brings a wealth of experience across various industries, coupled with a shared passion for serving the local business landscape.


The newly appointed board members include:

President: Kathleen Herrmann, Marketing Director, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

President Elect: Tammy Becker, CEO, Pigtails and Crewcuts

Vice President: Karina Garrison, Senior Vice President, Pinnacle Financial Partners 

Immediate Past President: Jennifer Maxwell, Regional Director of Sales, Raines Company

Secretary: Benjamin Nesvold, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments

Treasurer: Louis Tyson, Founder, Tyson Accounting Services

Foundations Committee Chair: Michael Cochran, Agent, Farm Bureau Insurance

RISE Committee Chair: Kendall Koste, Founder, Shine Brightly

Young Professionals Committee Chair: Josh Kramer, Owner, Private I Print Productions.


Additionally, the following board members will continue their terms in 2024:

President Emeritus: Chris Staubes, Staubes Law Firm

At Large: John Carroll, Unlimited Performance Inc.

At Large: Rick Giecek, Nothing Bundt Cakes

At Large: Joe Hinske, Legare, Bailey & Hinske CPAs

General Counsel: Edward Phipps, Phipps Law Firm

Community Engagement Committee Chair: Brian Sherman, The Publications Specialist

Expo Committee Chair: Ben Knight, Vikings Mergers & Acquisitions

Marketing Committee Chair: Mike Compton, rūmbo Advertising

Membership Committee Chair: Scott Labarowski, Horizon First Insurance.


Since 1992, the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce has brought together business leaders from the East Cooper community for mutually beneficial purposes.


The membership is a mix of professions including advertising, publishing, finance, health care, food and beverage, hotel, retail, insurance, legal, and service businesses of every description.


The MPCC's mission is to encourage business and community success East of the Cooper. 

Cliffs Realty Opens New Sales Center at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove in Arden, NC

The Cliffs at Walnut Cove announced the opening of its new Cliffs Realty sales center with access to the gate house, the only real estate office within the gates of the exclusive community in Arden, North Carolina.


Built by the Trehel Corporation of Greenville, South Carolina, the interiors were done by Cliffs Interiors, the design specialists for Cliffs Builders, The Cliffs’ construction program that combines custom-build with the simplicity of a turn-key home.


The 2,261-square-foot building features offices, a conference room and two front-end client meeting spaces.


The Cliffs, based in Travelers Rest, South Carolina,  is a collection of seven private, residential mountain and lake club communities totaling about 30,000 acres in the Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, between two of the nation’s top award-winning cities for quality of life – Greenville, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina.


The Cliffs’ suite of amenities for club members includes seven clubhouses, seven nationally recognized golf courses, seven wellness centers, multiple tennis and pickleball complexes, a marina, beach club, lake club, and equestrian center, more than a dozen restaurant and private event venues, and over 2,000 year-round programs and social activities to create timeless experiences.


The Cliffs at Walnut Cove’s par-71 Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course is the only championship course to have debuted with a PGA Tour event and is ranked among America’s Best Residential Courses by Golfweek and One of the Best Courses in North Carolina by Golf Digest.


The Cliffs' seven developments include The Cliffs at Glassy, The Cliffs at Mountain Park, The Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Keowee Falls, The Cliffs at Keowee Springs, The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove.  

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