Now that Tax Day has come and gone (woohoo!), you may be wondering, “Now what?” Whether you filed an extension or are wondering when that much-anticipated refund will arrive, here are a few things to think about now that the April 18th deadline has passed.
Didn’t File by April 18?
There is no penalty for filing a late return after the tax deadline so long as the taxpayer has paid all taxes due prior to the due date. Anyone who did not file and owes tax should file a return as soon as they can and pay as much as possible to reduce penalties and interest.
“Where’s My Refund?”
The “Where’s My Refund?” tool is available on IRS.gov, IRS2Go and by phone at 800-829-1954. Taxpayers need specific information to use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. That information includes the primary Social Security number on the return, the filing status (Single, Married Filing Jointly, etc.) and the amount of refund.
Events throughout the year – like a change in marital status – may change the exemptions, adjustments, deductions or credits a taxpayer expects to claim on next year’s return. Employees can use the IRS’s online Withholding Calculator to figure and then adjust their withholding by filling out a new Form W-4, normally with the company’s personnel office. Taxpayers who don’t have taxes withheld from their pay or don’t have enough tax withheld, may need to make estimated tax payments. Taxpayers who are self-employed normally need to make estimated payments that can be adjusted to avoid a balance due in the future.
Need to View a Tax Account Balance or Make a Payment?
Taxpayers who owe taxes can view their balance, pay with IRS Direct Pay, by debit or credit card or apply for an online payment agreement. Before accessing your tax account online, you must authenticate your identity through the Secure Access process. Several other electronic payment options are available on IRS.gov/payments. They are easy, secure and taxpayers receive immediate confirmation after submitting their payment.
Need to Fix an Error on a Return?
Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, must be filed by paper and is available on IRS.gov/forms at any time. Do not file an amended return before the original return has been processed. Taxpayers should file an amended tax return to change the filing status, or correct income, deductions or credits. The IRS generally corrects math errors and mails a request for any missing documents. Use "Where's My Amended Return?" tool to track the status of your amended return. It will take up to three weeks after mailing the return to show up in the IRS system. Processing can take up to 16 weeks.
Need Help Responding to an IRS Notice or Letter?
An IRS notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give instructions on how to handle the issue. Most questions can be answered by visiting the “Understanding Your Notice or IRS Letter,” on IRS.gov. Taxpayers can call the phone number included in the notice if they still have questions. Taxpayers have fundamental rights under the law. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” presents these rights in 10 categories. This helps taxpayers when they interact with the IRS. Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, highlights a list of taxpayer rights and the agency’s obligations to protect them. If you receive a letter and have questions about what it means, please contact us right away. Ignoring a request for information from the IRS can lead to delays and costly penalties!
Watch Out for Scams
Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS will never contact a taxpayer via e-mail, text or social media. Any e-mail that appears to be from the IRS about a refund or tax problem is probably an attempt by scammers to steal information. Forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be tempted to forget about your taxes once you’ve filed but some tax planning done now may benefit you greatly in the long run. Now is a good time to set up a system so you can keep your tax records organized and secure. Print and keep a copy of your 2016 tax return and supporting records together in a safe place. This includes W-2 and 1099 Forms, bank records and proof of your family’s health care insurance coverage.
If you would like assistance with tax planning or any of the information above, please CONTACT US right away. We’re here to help!