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.
Have Everything You Need First
The IRS says that you should have everything you need before filing your tax returns. Don’t be without your W-2s and 1099s before filing. You should also look to grab a copy of your 2016 tax return in the process.
Filing your taxes will be more secure in 2017 if you’re using a piece of 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 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 to Avoid Tax Refund Delay
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 and an online w2.
The IRS also recommends that you use direct deposit to get the money into your account 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.
Try TurboTax for a Faster Refund!
TurboTax online software should be released on December 12 of 2016. Which means you can get started on your taxes as soon as your W2 is available. If you’re not already a TurboTax user, why not give it a try this year. It’s easy, and it’s free to try.