by Thomas Keister
For most taxpayers, filing their tax returns and getting their refunds is no big deal. However, problems can arise when the taxpayer is not quite prepared when they visit their tax preparer. These problems can be minor, but can delay filing, which in turn delays the processing and arrival of any tax refund.
First- Make sure your paperwork is together.
While the IRS urges all taxpayers to file a complete and accurate tax return by making sure they have all the needed documents before they file, your tax preparer will also most certainly urge the same thing. This makes the filing process must simpler, as everything can be accomplished in one setting, saving you multiple appointments to get through the filing process. This means making sure you have all:
W-2s 1099s 1095-As from the Marketplace if claiming the Premium Tax Credit
Interest statements Mortgage statements Student Loan statements
Receipts for charitable donations Receipts for work-related expenses
Receipts for childcare-related expenses Social Security statements
Social Security numbers for dependents
Typically, these forms start arriving in the mail in January, although some interest statements for investments and investments accounts may take into February to make it. Always check these statements carefully, and contact the payer immediately to have a corrected statement sent out.
Second- Know how the refund schedule works.
In recent years, changes have been made to how some refunds are processed, which has lead to confusion and anger in customers in income tax preparation offices all over the country. By law, and income tax return that is claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit will not be issued a refund by the IRS before the middle of February. This was designed to ensure taxpayers receive the refund they are due by allowing the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.
The IRS is expecting the earliest refunds related to EITC and ACTC claims to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting on February 27, 2018. This is if the taxpayer uses direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
Third- Know the fastest ways to file your return and get your refund.
Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors delay refunds and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account.
Just having these three tips in mind- organizing your information, planning the best way to file and receive your refund, and expecting a bit of a wait will save you a lot of hassle and frustration when it comes to getting through tax season 2018.
Tax, business, and consumer news and opinion. Curated and/or written by the HFG staff.
(c) 2017-18 Hoosier Financial Group, LLC
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