AMERICANS must file their taxes accurately to avoid any delays and should use online resources before contacting the IRS, officials warn.
The advice comes just days before the federal tax filing season begins on January 24.
Americans should keep five things in mind before filing their taxes.
FILE DOCUMENTS ELECTRONICALLY
Taxpayers should file their documents electronically and choose the direct deposit option so they can get an accurate tax return.
Americans are encouraged to use the software e-file which helps taxpayers avoid making mistakes.
A question and answer format helps taxpayers through every step of their tax return when it is being completed.
KEEP DOCUMENTS HANDY
Before filing tax returns, Americans should also make sure that their stimulus payment and advance child tax credit data are accurate.
Taxpayers should keep documents nearby such as Letter 6419 which was sent to parents that received advance child tax credits.
From this letter, taxpayers will be able to determine how much they are eligible to claim on their return.
It states how many child tax credits they claimed in 2021 and the number of children filed used to determine this figure.
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The letter contains important information that can help ensure the tax return is accurate.
And this month, the IRS started filing letters to Americans that received a third stimulus payment in late January 2021.
The document, known as Letter 6475, can also help taxpayers determine if they’re eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit.
The IRS says that both letters contain important information that helps taxpayers file accurate returns.
If it’s incomplete, then the return may require further review.
CHECK ONLINE BEFORE CALLING IRS
Americans should use online resources before phoning the IRS.
Online tools are available 24 hours a day and there is no wait time for an appointment.
The IRS says that phone demand on lines remains high and callers could face being delayed on the call.
Americans should visit IRS.gov. where they can check refund statuses, or get answers to tax-related questions.
STILL WAITING FOR 2020 TAX RETURN?
Some Americans may be still waiting for a 2020 tax return to be processed.
If that’s the case, taxpayers should enter $0 for last year’s Adjusted Gross Income on their 2021 tax return.
For those that used a non-filer tool when signing up for advance child tax credits, they should enter $1 for 2020’s AGI.
Taxpayers that don’t have access to their AGI can find out using their IRS online account where it should be displayed on the Tax Records tab.
Americans can also receive a transcript in the post, but it could take up to 10 days to arrive, according to the IRS.
There are free resources to help Americans file their tax returns.
Some providers make their tax-filing products free as part of a 20-year partnership with the IRS.
The software Free File is available to any person or family who earned $73,000 or less in 2021.
Around 36million families will receive up to $1,800 per child when tax returns are filed.
The child tax credit scheme was temporarily expanded last year from $2,000 to $3,600.
Families that received advance payments pocketed six monthly payments between July and December.
But, families that opted out of advance tax credits could receive up to $3,600 per child.
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