Tag Archives: tax season

What happens after I file my taxes?


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Now that the federal income tax deadline is in your rear-view mirror, what happens after you file? A lot of taxpayers have post tax-filing questions such as what records should I keep and for how long? The IRS has answers for you.

What Records Should I Keep? Normally, tax records should be kept for three years. You should keep copies of tax returns you have filed and the tax forms package as part of your records. They may be helpful in amending already filed returns or preparing future returns. But some documents such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRAs and business or rental property should be kept much longer.

If the IRS suspects you’ve underreported your income by 25 percent or more, it has up to six years to audit your return. Additionally, if you have written off a worthless investment, you should keep those records up to seven years.

Address Change. If you move after you filed your return, send Form 8822, Change of Address, to the Internal Revenue Service. If you are expecting a paper refund check, you should also file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service.

What If I Made a Mistake? Errors may delay your refund or result in notices being sent to you. If you discover an error on your return, you can correct your return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return.

IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals, has more details on tax record keeping.

Barry Lisak, EA, is an IRS Enrolled Agent who has operated a tax preparation office for over 30 years. Any questions or comments, please contact mrbarrytax@aol.com or 516-829-7283.

Are you feeling anxious about your tax refund?


| mrbarrytax@aol.com

E-file, with bank direct deposit, is the fastest and safest way to receive your tax refund. If you already filed your Federal tax return and are due a refund, you have several options to check on your refund. Here are procedures the IRS wants you to know about checking on the status of your refund.

Online Access to Refund Information. Where’s My Refund? is an interactive tool on www.irs.gov and is the fastest, easiest way to get information about your Federal income-tax refund. Whether you opted for direct deposit or asked the IRS to mail you a check, Where’s My Refund? gives you online access to your refund information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When to Check Refund Status. If you e-fi le, you can get refund information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you fi le a paper return, refund information will generally be available three or four weeks after mailing your return.

What You Need to Check Refund Status. When checking the status of your refund, have a copy of your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter:

• Your Social Security Number or ITIN • Your filing status which will be Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er).

• Exact whole-dollar refund amount shown on your tax return.

What the Online Tool Will Tell You. You could get several responses, including:

• Acknowledgement that your return was received and is in processing.

• The mailing date or direct deposit date of your refund.

• Notice that the IRS could not deliver your refund due to an incorrect address.

Toll-free Number. If you do not have Internet access, you can check the status of your refund by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954. When calling, you must provide your or your spouse’s Social Security number, fi ling status and the exact whole- dollar amount shown on your return

Barry Lisak, EA, is an IRS Enrolled Agent who has operated a tax preparation office for over 30 years. Any questions or comments, please contact mrbarrytax@aol.com or 516-829-7283.

Last-minute tips for filing your tax returns


| mrbarrytax@aol.com

The tax filing season is just around the corner. The IRS offers tips for taxpayers still working on their returns.

File electronically. IRS e-file is safe, easy and the most common way to file. E-file is now the norm; not the exception. In 2011, nearly 110 million people used e-file to transmit their returns. If you expect a tax refund, you’ll get the money faster when you e-file, because the IRS processes electronic returns faster than paper ones.

Check all numbers. Carefully check Social Security numbers for each person listed. This includes you, your spouse, dependents and persons listed in relation to claims for Child and Dependent Care or Earned Income Tax Credit. Missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.

Double-Check Your Figures. If you are filing a paper return, you should double-check that you have correctly figured the refund or balance due.

Check the Tax Tables. If you are filing a paper return, double-check that you have used the right figure from the tax table.

Contribute to Retirement Accounts: If you haven’t made an IRA (deductible or non-deductible) or Roth IRA contribution for 2012, you have until April 15.

Sign Your Form. You must sign and date your return. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.

Electronic Payments. Electronic payment options are convenient, safe and secure methods for paying taxes. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, or use a credit or a debit card.

Can’t Pay the Taxes Due. If you owe taxes but can’t pay the full amount by the deadline, file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can to avoid tax penalties and interest.

Extension to File. By the April due date, you should either file a return or request an extension of time to file, Form 4868. Remember, the extension of time is not an extension of time to pay.

Barry Lisak, EA, is an IRS Enrolled Agent who has operated a tax preparation office for over 30 years. Any questions or comments, please contact mrbarrytax@aol.com or 516-829-7283.