April 21, 2016
So you’ve finally gotten around to filing that dreaded tax return, but what should you do now; sit back and wait for a refund, check on its progress or try and forget it ever happened?!
There are a number of things you can do after filing a tax return, and listed below are some important reminders:
Check on your refund status
If you’ve filed your tax return electronically, you should be able to go online and check your refund status within 24 hours of the IRS having acknowledged its receipt. If you mailed it, it can take up to 4 weeks before you can check.
To get information about your tax return, click on the ‘where’s my refund’ section of the IRS website, or access the mobile IRS app.
There are 3 stages involved in the refund process: ‘Return Received’, Refund Approved’ and ‘Refund Sent’; you can follow the progress of your refund as it passes through each stage, on the IRS website.
Once your refund has been approved, you’ll be given a date of when you will receive it; most are issued within 21 calendar days.
Calling the IRS will not speed up the refund process; however, if it has been more than 21 days since you electronically filed your return, more than 6 weeks since you mailed it, or when checking your status online you’re directed to contact the IRS, then a phone call may be advisable.
Keep a copy of your tax return
You may need to refer to your federal tax return to answer an inquiry from the IRS, or to apply for a loan or mortgage, so keeping a copy of it or requesting a transcript from the IRS should you happen to have mislaid yours, is sensible.
For requesting a copy of your tax return, click on the section entitled ‘current year transcript availability’ and use ‘form 4506’. To receive a transcript by mail, you must provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), date of birth and the address from which your latest tax return was filed from.
Inform the IRS if you change your address
It may be that since filing your tax return, you moved to another address; if so, then you will need to complete a change of address form (Form 8822) and send it to the IRS. It may also be necessary to contact the US postal service if you should happen to be awaiting a refund by mail.
Check your filed tax return for errors
When filing your tax return, it can be tempting to hurry the process in order to get it done and dusted as quickly as possible, in which case it’s important that you check it for mistakes once you’ve filed it. Any errors could easily result in delays of your refund and could cause the IRS to send a notice to you.
If you do discover that you’ve made a mistake, you can correct it by filing an amended return with the form entitled ‘Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (1040X).
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