We already know there can be a lot of complexities when it comes to filing your taxes each year. Unless you’re an accountant, you probably aren’t the biggest fan of tax season at all.
Not to mention, the IRS has been struggling these last few years due to issues brought on by the ongoing COVID pandemic. There is extremely limited staff working at the IRS trying to answer phone calls and sort out tax returns. Also, there were about six million individual returns that were still unprocessed as of December 31.
As you start filing taxes, there are plenty of things you should keep in mind.
One major thing this year especially is to double-check your tax forms with IRS transcripts. The first step in doing this is getting access to your online account. The IRS is moving away from facial recognition, so this won’t be an option.
This is an incredibly important step if you’re wanting to make sure your tax return gets to you as quickly as possible. Basically, you should go ahead and verify all details using these IRS transcripts available online. This will help you avoid any mistakes that often result in the agency flagging your return.
Tax Season Accuracy
What are the two biggest things to look out for in terms of accuracy?
“The big one is the wage and income transcript. This will particularly help self-employed individuals or gig workers with income from many different sources,” Tommy Lucas, CFP and enrolled agent at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, said to CNBC.
These same transcripts can also be used to verify any details from past tax returns or tax forms that were missing after having taxes submitted on your behalf.
By verifying that all your information is accurate, you’re going to be looking at a less stressful, hopefully, error-free tax season. Not to mention, that tax return, which millions of Americans are especially relying on this year, will get to you even faster. If you’re eager for that money, make sure that you file all your taxes electronically. Get rid of that paper filing system because it’s a nightmare for the IRS and it will only further delay the process.
The delays as a result of paper returns could be as long as 10 months.
Estimated Time Until You Get That Tax Return
This year the IRS started processing returns on January 24 to try to get ahead and avoid some delays like we saw last year.
According to CBS News, most Americans should get their returns within 21 days of filing. That’s as long as you’re filing electronically and are making sure your tax report is accurate. There are other ways it could be slowed down, too.
If you are deciding to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit, this will slow down the process. If you filed close to January 24 and are claiming these benefits, you’ll get your return closer to early March. The process is slowed down in this instance to try to deter any kind of fraud.