Tips for a quick refund and how to avoid damaging your work

Happy tax season officially!

This file photo shows part of a federal tax form 1040 printed from the Internal Revenue Service website. (AP Photo / Keith Srakocic)

The Internal Revenue Service said it was here to serve and issued a plea for sympathy on the first day of the 2021 filing season: “We are real people serving real people,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said Monday, January 24, “and we want to make everyone proud. ”

It was a tough few years for the IRS. In the regular, pre-pandemic years, the agency received about 5 million calls from people seeking information and help. Last year, it received nearly 120 million calls, said Ken Corbin, whose titles include “director of tax experience.”

Your favorite government agency has provided a list of tips for its masters to help make this fun time pass more smoothly. The most important thing might be “no dead wood.”

IRS urges taxpayers to avoid paperwork like the plague: Do Not return the papers and do Not to request a paper refund check if you want prompt action. That pushes the government apparatus to grow exponentially. Apply online and request a direct deposit refund to your bank account for the fastest results for your personal tax season.

Those who don’t file regularly, or those who didn’t file last year, are encouraged to do so this year. That’s because they may be eligible for important tax credits (the child tax credit, the recovery rebate credit, also known as the stimulus payment, the advance child tax credit, or the tax on earned income).

Take the time to look at everything and get it right; Mistakes can lead to extreme anxiety and heart palpitations (as this reporter, who recently received a six-figure tax bill for a 2019 error, can attest!).

So, gather those mortgage statements and receipts and fire up your tax preparation software. Let’s get started:

Question: When is the application deadline, and can it be extended because of the pandemic?

A: Currently, most taxpayers must file by Monday, April 18 (due to Emancipation holiday in Washington, DC, which falls on Friday, April 15). Disaster victims will have later deadlines in some places. There are no plans to extend the deadline after that, but the IRS will continue to monitor how things proceed, Rettig said.

Q: How long does it take to receive my refund?

A: Most people who apply electronically by direct deposit can expect to receive their refund within 21 days. The IRS says last year’s average return was about $2,800.

Q: I have a question and need help. What do I do?

A: “Telephone lines have been jammed and we anticipate they will continue to be disturbed for the foreseeable future,” says Rettig. Instead, go online to If you don’t already have an account online, create one – the feature has been expanded to allow more people to access. (It has multi-factor authentication, and this reporter took too long to create an account, as it had repeatedly rejected her passport photo page. To save time, make sure the face is on. Your identity is clear in the ID photo and there’s no glare on the document. Once in, you’ll see a lot of information just for you.) If you choose to use your phone, take advantage of the automated services that extend .

Cara Baldari and her nine-month-old daughter Evie (L) and Sarah Orrin-Vipond and her eight-month-old son Otto (R), participate in a protest in front of the US Congress December 13, 2021 in Washington, DC ( Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Q: How do I handle all stimulus payments and child tax credits?

A: Be careful. Make sure the amount you enter on your taxes matches the total the IRS emailed you. “Even though it’s a letter from the IRS,” quipped Corbin, “open it before you file.” Check the numbers in your new online IRS account. If your total returns and those in the IRS files are different, that could lead to significant delays.

Q: What if the amount I received and the amount in the letter do not match?

A: Breathe. The IRS acknowledged discrepancies in a small percentage of those letters. It appears to be related to taxpayers who moved or changed bank accounts in December, so checks were bounced or direct deposit declined. If that’s you, check the numbers in your new online account and work it out there.

Q: But the IRS hasn’t finished last year’s recall. How do I start? this five come back?

A. You are in an exclusive club. About 167.6 million tax returns were filed last year, and 6 million of those are still being processed. The IRS still wants you to file your 2021 taxes. When the software program asks for your adjusted gross income from last year, use $0, the IRS says. Really!

Millions of stimulus checks have been mailed by the IRS. (AP Photo / Eric Gay)

Q: Okay, so how exactly do I submit my application electronically?

A: Yes popular softwareike H&R Block and TurboTax. Yes professional tax preparers. If you or your family earn less than $73,000 in 2021, you can use IRS Free File. And some taxpayers can find free one-on-one pre-tax preparation help through Volunteer tax assistance (VITA) and tax advice for the elderly (TCE) programs. You can find the above links

Q: Should we expect the unexpected?

A: After the last two years, do you really need to ask that question? Officials stressed that they are expecting delays and are asking people to help by submitting applications accurately, quickly and electronically. The agency has suffered from erratic funding, technology upgrades starting and shutting down, and dealing with wave after wave of stimulus checks last year in addition to regular mandates. mine. The Commissioner said it has distributed $1.5 trillion to the people of the country in more than 500 million separate payment files.

“Understand that we are trying and our people are trying,” says Rettig. Tips for a quick refund and how to avoid damaging your work

Huynh Nguyen

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