Taxpayers Are Asking Irs: Where Is My Refund And Where Is My Stimulus Payment
Many taxpayers are still waiting for their tax refunds or stimulus checks, while the IRS works through a backlog of tax returns.
Ive received a number of letters from readers of this forbes.com column asking for help with both tax refunds and stimulus payments. They want to know, whats going on? I have some answers, but, unfortunately, no advice to each reader, as each delay could be situational, that is, unique to the person experiencing the delay.
When We Issue A Refund We Will Deliver One Of The Following Messages
- Your return has been processed. A direct deposit of your refund is scheduled to be issued on . If your refund is not credited to your account within 15 days of this date, check with your bank to find out if it has been received. If its been more than 15 days since your direct deposit issue date and you havent received it yet, see Direct deposit troubleshooting tips.
- Your refund check is scheduled to be mailed on . If you have not received your refund within 30 days of this date, call 518-457-5149.
How To Get A Copy Of Your T1 General From A Past Tax Year
You filled out a T1 General Form for every year you submitted taxes. You can find a copy of your submitted T1 General if you have registered for a CRA My Account. Your account should have the records of T1 General for the current year and the past 11 years that you filed under the tax returns view section. Anything older, you will need to contact the CRA directly at 1-800-959-8281 to request a copy.
If you used TurboTax to file your taxes for the year that you need, you simply log onto your TurboTax portal and access the return for the year you are interested in.
Read Also: Free Irs Approved Tax Preparation Courses
How To Get The Refund
If you are owed money and youve filed a tax return, the IRS will send you the money or use it to pay off other owed taxes automatically.
You typically dont need to file an amended return in order to get this potential refund.
Instead, the IRS will adjust the tax return youve already submitted.
However, if you havent yet filed your tax return, you should report this reduction in unemployment income on your Form 1040.
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What To Do About A Missing Or Lost Tax Return
Finishing your tax return is sometimes a struggle. It feels like a relief when you click the Submit To NETFILE button or pop your taxes into the mailbox. But sometimes things dont go smoothly, and somehow, your tax return gets lost on its way to Canada Revenue Agency . In this post well let you know what to do if your return goes missing, as well as other important information about filing your tax return.
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Types Of Tax Credits And Benefits
There are two types of tax credits:
Benefits can help with various living expenses, such as raising children, housing, loss of income and medical expenses.
Read the Canada Revenue Agency’s General Income Tax and Benefit Guide and Forms Book to learn more about which tax credits you can claim.
With the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit, you could get back up to 75% of your eligible child care expenses. It applies to eligible child care options, including care in centres, homes and camps.
The Low-Income Workers Tax Credit provides up to $850 each year in Ontario personal income tax relief to low-income workers, including those earning minimum wage.
The Four Phases Of The 2020 Tax Season:
Like most institutions, SARS has had to rethink how it would go about facilitating its busiest time of the year while a highly infectious virus still rears its ugly head in South Africa. During this critical moment, SARS has embarked on the journey to reimagine how to provide an efficient and effective service to all our taxpayers while improving compliance levels. These trying times have imposed the challenge on the organisation of providing a seamless and effortless service to taxpayers while protecting our own employees and taxpayers from infection, asserted SARS in a statement. The plan looks a little like this:
The initial stage was reserved for employers and third-party providers to submit all the necessary info and certificates before 31 May 2020. SARS maintains that most companies complied, but there were a few that didnt meet the deadline. This could cause a headache for some taxpayers down the line.
So, in an attempt to minimise potential problems for taxpayers as much as possible, SARS initiated a second phase, aimed at not only validating all the info they have received from the third-party providers but also to follow up on all those who did not meet the 31 May 2020 deadline.
Legal sidenote: its a criminal offence for companies not to deduct PAYE from employees.
How To Obtain A Copy Of Your Tax Return
You can request copies of your IRS tax returns from the most recent seven tax years.
The Internal Revenue Service can provide you with copies of your tax return from the most recent seven tax years. You can request copies by preparing Form 4506 and attaching payment of $43 for each one. Once the IRS receives your request, it can take up to 60 days for the agency to process it. If you filed your taxes with a TurboTax CD/download product, your tax return should be stored on your computer, so you can print a copy at any time. If you used TurboTax Online, you can log in and print copies of your tax return for free.
What To Do About Missing Tax Forms
If you dont receive one or more of the forms you need, youre not absolved of reporting that information on your tax return. Heres how to handle this situation.
If you file a paper return by mail, youll need to include copies of the forms issuers have sent you if they show taxes withheld. If you file electronically, you wont have to.
Should You File Early
Many American taxpayers wait until the April 15 deadline to complete and file their taxes. However, if procrastination stresses you outor if you’re expecting a refund and you want it as soon as possibleyou can file your 2021 return as early as Jan. 24, 2022.
Another reason to file early is to reduce the risk of someone stealing your identity to file a false return using your Social Security Number and claim a fraudulent refund.
Keeping Tabs On Your Old Tax Returns May Not Be Your Top Concern In Life Until A Situation Comes Up When You Need Them
For example, if you apply for a mortgage or student loan, you typically have to disclose your income but lenders wont always just take your word for how much you earn. Thats where your official tax records come in. They can serve as proof of your income when applying not only for loans but for things like rental housing, government benefits or other kinds of financial aid.
If you dont have a copy of your tax return on hand when you need it, no problem! You can use a few different methods to get your past tax information.
The first big question: Do you need a full copy of your tax return, or can you get by with a transcript?
About Where’s My Refund
Use Where’s My Refund to check the status of individual income tax returns and amended individual income tax returns you’ve filed within the last year.
Be sure to use the same information used on your return: Social Security Number, Tax Year, and Refund Amount.
If you submitted your return electronically, please allow up to a week for your information to be entered into our system.
Where Do I Find A Copy Of My Filed Return In Turbotax Online
If the tax return you’re looking for was filed using TurboTax CD/Download, it won’t appear in your TurboTax Online account. If you want to transfer information from a CD/download return to the online edition, follow these steps.
Note: Tax return access services are included in all free and paid products beginning in the 2019 tax year, regardless of whether you’ve added any PLUS features to your account.
1. Sign in to TurboTax Online
2. Scroll to Access your filed tax returns and select Open
3. This is where youll find the PDF copies of your filed returns.
We save PDF copies of all your returns in your TurboTax Online account for a seven-year period. Actual return documentation is also saved for a two-year period.
Tax return access services are also available in all paid and PLUS products for both 2017 and 2018 tax years.
The PDF feature isn’t available in TurboTax Free unless you added PLUS to your return. If you added PLUS, we save PDF copies of all your returns in your TurboTax Online account for a seven-year period. Actual return documentation is saved for a two-year period.
Tax return access services are also available in all PLUS products for both 2017 and 2018 tax years.
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If You Need To Change Your Return
You can make a change to your tax return 72 hours after youve filed it, for example because you made a mistake. Youll need to make your changes by:
- 31 January 2023 for the 2020 to 2021 tax year
- 31 January 2024 for the 2021 to 2022 tax year
If you miss the deadline or if you need to make a change to your return for any other tax year youll need to write to HMRC.
Your bill will be updated based on what you report. You may have to pay more tax or be able to claim a refund.
Theres a different process if you need to report foreign income.
Transcript Of Return From The Irs
Cost: FreeProcessing Time: Instantly online or 5 to 10 business days by mail
You can request an IRS transcript of your tax return from the IRS website. A transcript includes items from your tax return as it was originally filed and will meet lending or immigration requirements.
There are three ways to request a transcript:
If you’d like to have a record of any changes made to your original tax return by the IRS or through subsequent amendments, you’ll need to request a Tax Account Transcript by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
Will The Payments I Received This Year Affect My Taxes Next Year
The child tax credit payments you got this year could potentially affect your taxes . Heres how:
- You received an overpayment and the IRS didnt adjust the amount on later payments. Youll have to pay this back.
- You received payments you didnt qualify for. Youll have to pay the IRS back.
- Your income changed, and you didnt report it to the IRS. This could result in a larger or smaller tax refund or you owing the IRS, depending on if your income was higher or lower than what the IRS used to calculate your payment.
- You opted out of the payments this year, so your payout will be larger next year.
- You received money for a child thatll turn 18 by the end of 2021. You may have to pay that money back.
Your taxes could be affected by the child tax credit payments.
Why Is There Still An Irs Backlog
Because of the pandemic, the IRS ran at restricted capacity in 2020, which put a strain on its ability to process tax returns and created a backlog. The combination of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus payments, challenges with paper-filed returns and the tasks related to implementing new tax laws and credits created a perfect storm, according to a National Taxpayer Advocate review of the 2021 filing season to Congress.
The IRS is open again and currently processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays. The IRS said its also taking more time for 2020 tax returns that need review, such as determining recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks or figuring out earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.
Heres a list of reasons your income tax refund might be delayed:
- Your tax return has errors.
- Its incomplete.
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Heres How To Get Prior
IRS Tax Tip 2018-43, March 21, 2018
As people are filing their taxes, the IRS reminds taxpayers to hang onto their tax records. Generally, the IRS recommends keeping copies of tax returns and supporting documents at least three years. Taxpayers should keep some documents such as those related to real estate sales for three years after filing the return on which they reported the transaction.
Irs Backlog Of Unprocessed 2020 Returns
Meet Ken Corbin:
Ken Corbin has two roles: he’s the IRSâ first Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer, and also, Commissioner of the Wage and Investment Division, with responsibility for 36,000 employees, located in over 375 sites nationwide, who are administering tax laws governing individual U.S. wage earners.
He recently said: “Out of the nearly 168 million 2020 tax returns we received, as of December 4, 2021, we had 6.7 million unprocessed individual returns and 2.6 million unprocessed Forms 1040-X.”
That’s 9.3 million individual returns in the hopper from last year’s tax season. How long it will take for people to get their refund this tax season is any body’s guess.
Commissioner Corbin blames the processing delays on the large inventory of tax returns waiting to be processed due to several factors, including the pandemic. He goes on to say, “…the IRS is correcting significantly more errors on 2020 tax returns than in previous years. More than 10 million electronically filed returns contained errors requiring a manual review of the return information.”
Corbin also stated that, “accurate returns filed electronically” with refunds due were “out the door within 21 days for those using direct deposit.”
Steps to Make Tax Filing Easier:
Each fall, the IRS launches a âGet Ready for Taxesâ campaign that encourages taxpayers to prepare to file, including what actions to take and what to know before filing season begins, and how to get help.
Things to Consider:
One More Thing To Know About Your Tax Refund
Its actually something you kind of want to avoid. It may seem great to get a big check from the government, but all a tax refund tells you is that youve been overpaying your taxes all year and needlessly living on less of your paycheck the whole time.
For example, if you got a $3,000 tax refund, youve been giving up $250 a month all year. Could having an extra $250 every month have helped with the bills? If you want to get that money now rather than later, you can adjust your withholdings by giving your employer a new IRS Form W-4 .
Obtaining Copies Of Your Notices Of Assessment And Tax Slips
If you have lost or misplaced your notices of assessment or tax slips from prior years, you can obtain copies from the CRA website. View a copy by using My Account or the CRA Mobile App.
Your employer has until the end of February of the following year to issue you a copy of your T4 slip for any income earned in the previous year.
If you have lost the tax slip or have not received it in the current year, check you CRA My Account. T-slips and other information such as RRSP contributions are stored in your online account. If the slip doesnt show in your CRA My Account or you are not yet a CRA My Account holder, you have to ask your employer for a copy. If your employer is unable to provide your tax slip, the CRA recommends attaching a note to your paper return with your name and address, the type of income, and the steps you are taking to obtain a copy of the tax slip.