Tax filing season is on the way and you might be expecting a tax refund. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already put out an official reminder to taxpayers about the steps they should take if they want to avoid their tax refunds being delayed. These steps will also enable the smooth processing of their tax return.
Table of Contents
Have Everything You Need First
The IRS says that filing online is the best way to get your refund fast. Don’t be without your W-2s and 1099s before filing. You should also look to grab a copy of your previous year’s tax return in the process.
Filing your taxes will be more secure if you’re using tax software to file. You will need the previous year’s tax return because the Adjusted Gross Income amount could be used to verify who you are. Validating your tax return is a crucial part of the process of successful filing.
Do You Need a New Tax Number?
Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a verifier of your identity. But because of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act 2015, known as the PATH Act, any ITINs that were issued before the year 2013 and haven’t been used up to 2015 won’t be valid for use starting from 2017.
This means you’ll need to renew your ITIN. Failure to do this could lead to delayed filing, and even rejected filings. It’s a long process to renew your number, so you should plan. It takes approximately seven weeks, but some taxpayers have had to wait for up to 11 weeks.
Take note that if you don’t renew in time you might lose out on your tax credits. For example, if you’re trying to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit your refund will be held until February 15th. Again, this is due to new legislation designed to give the IRS more time to check for fraud.
Opt for E-File and Do it Early
The IRS has also put out a warning against making big purchases before getting your refund. Some refunds do require additional time to process, and can be delayed by a few weeks. The best way to avoid most errors, though, is to use the e-file method of submitting.
The IRS also recommends using direct deposit to get your tax refund faster. It’s the same system used for social security and benefits for veterans. This is faster and more cost-efficient than requesting a paper check that you must cash yourself.
Turbo Tax provides you with step-by-step instructions to ensure that you get every deduction and credit that you are eligible for. Turbo Tax also ensures that you get the largest refund possible. Their online filing services have the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.