Monday, April 29, 2013

A Month After Tax Returns

Around about mid May, one month after the tax deadline day, many taxpayers will have already finalized all tax-related issues and will be eagerly waiting for their tax refunds. For those not expecting any refunds, by mid May, they will have shelved all tax related issues and will be back to business as usual. However, this is also a good and relaxing time to consider addressing various unsettled tax issues.
Status on Refunds
This is a good time to follow-up on refund checks that not have been received. There are various ways that you can check to see the progress of your refund check. You can log onto the IRS website and go to the refund status section to find out information about your refund status. You will need to provide your Social Security Number, the amount of refund anticipated, and indicate what your filing status was on your returns. You can also call the IRS's number at 1-800-829-1040 and follow the voice prompt to get to the refund status section. The IRS has also provided a handy Smartphone application called IRS2Go that is available for both iPhone and Android Smartphones. You can download the application free from either the Apple Application Store or from Android Marketplace. With this application on your phone, you can easily track the progress of your tax refunds, quite literally in the palm of your hand.
If you used Form 1040X, "Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Form," to make any amendments to your tax returns, then your refunds may take a little longer than usual to be released to you. Amendments are manually reviewed and thus, make the process longer to take. Usually, refunds for a tax return with amendments will take about 2 to 3 months.
Refund Does Not Match Expected Amount
If the refund check that you received was below what you had anticipated, all you can do is deposit or cash it into your account and wait for the IRS notice that explains the discrepancy. On the other hand, if the refund is beyond what you expected, it is best to wait until you receive communication from IRS concerning the amount before depositing the check. If the check amount was erroneously higher, the IRS will require you to return the check to the IRS and they will provide you with the correct check with the correct amount.
Replacing Lost Refund Checks
If you ever misplace your refund check, the IRS can provide you with a replacement. You can either request for a check replacement through the IRS website or by calling the IRS number. If the check was misplaced within 28 days of the issue date, you may go the IRS website and on the IRS online tool: request for a misplaced check. You will need to provide your Social Security Number, amount of refund, and filing status. If it is more than 28 days since you got the refund check and you have misplaced it, you will need to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and request for the replacement.
Withholding Adjustments
If the amount of refund check was significantly large and there were no major tax-related event that caused the high refund, then it may be a good time to review your tax withholding and make adjustments on your W-4 so as to have a more favorable withholdings figure. You can then forward the Form W-4 to your employer to make the changes.
Deadline for Extensions
For taxpayers who filed for an extension, there are still roughly 5 more months left to finalize your tax preparations and file your returns. However, do not wait until the deadline approaches to start rushing again. Now is a good time to plan how you will prepare and file in October.
Get Tax Planning Advice
Finally, this post-tax-return season time is also a good time to consult a tax professional who may not have been available before the deadline (due to the busy pre-tax season workload). Book an appointment and you can review your taxes and plan for the tax year ahead in a more relaxed environment

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