You've done the hard part, you've filed your taxes. Now what? Here are a few things left to do once you file your taxes.
New Due Date
The IRS extended the 2020 1040 filing deadline to May 17th, giving taxpayers an additional month to file. No action was required by taxpayers as the additional time to file was automatically granted. The payment due date has also been extended to May 17th. Note that the estimated tax payment deadlines for 2021 have not changed.
Economic Impact Payments
Economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, are not taxable income and should not be reported as income on your tax return. It is also not an advance on any refund or credit that you may be receiving from the2020 return. So, as you await your refund, rest assured that any stimulus money you received in 2020 or 2021 will not reduce the amount of the refund you receive.
The IRS provides access to the status of your refund through an online tool at irs.gov. All you need to do is go to the site and click on"Get Your Refund Status" near the top of the page. Once you have clicked the link, you can provide your Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount to see the status of your refund.
If you have electronically filed, you are usually able to view tax return information 24 hours after the IRS receives the return. If you mailed a paper copy, it may take up to four weeks before you are able to track the status. Once you have verified that the IRS has accepted your return and you are expecting a refund, you can begin to track the status of your refund.Note that there have been some delays in processing returns due to COVID-19.
If you find yourself in a situation that requires an amendment to a prior return and the amended return results in a refund, the refund can still be collected if the amended return is filed within three years of the date you filed the original return. For example, say you filed a return April 15, 2019. You have until April 15, 2022 to amend. However, there are a few instances that allow for longer than three years past the filing date to amend. For example, the statute of limitations on bad debts provides seven years' time from the due date of the return for the year that the debt became worthless.
Occasionally tax returns can be rejected. If this happens, you or your tax preparer will receive an email informing you of the rejection. The email will give you a code as well as a description of the exact reason why your return was rejected. Typically, reasons for rejection are as simple as an incorrect social security number (SSN), an incorrect birth date, or an incorrect PIN number. If your return is rejected because it includes a SSN that was already used, it is likely that a scammer fraudulently filed a return under your SSN. This may require you to paper file your return instead of e-filing.
When filing a return with a balance due, the IRS accepts payment in a variety of forms. You can pay with a check or money order, a debit or credit card, a direct withdrawal from a checking or savings account, or setup an installment plan. The IRS also offers what is called an Offer inCompromise. An Offer in Compromise is set up in a situation where the tax payer is unable to pay their full tax bill. It is only offered if the IRS believes that the amount to be paid is greater than or equal to the what they could expect for the taxpayer to pay.
Once your return is filed and your refund or payment is settled, your tax records should be kept for a minimum of three years from the date of filing, as the statute of limitations is three years after you file the return. However, the statute of limitations is six years for any taxpayer who, either purposefully or accidentally, files a return that reports their gross income 25% lower than actual or more. Although it is generally okay to discard tax records after three years, a copy of each year's tax return should be kept indefinitely. Unfiled returns and fraudulent returns are not protected from audit by the statute of limitations, so it is important to keep copies of your returns to prove to the IRS that you did in fact file if ever questioned.