The IRS urged taxpayers and tax professionals to continue using electronic options to speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments. IRS.gov showcases many task-based tools and features to help people navigate their taxes. All are available 24/7/365.
Timely processing of tax returns and refund issuance is especially important during the pandemic. To speed refunds and avoid delays in processing, the IRS strongly advises taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need.
Simple options to make filing easier
- Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on Economic Impact Payments and tax refund status. There is no need to call.
- Consider IRS Free File. Taxpayers who want to prepare and file their tax returns electronically for free can use IRS Free File. This program offers brand-name tax software for taxpayers with an income of $72,000 or less in 2020. Those who earned more can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Some people will need to file a return to get a third Economic Impact Payment and Free File gives people the ability to do that for free.
- Check payment options on IRS.gov. Several electronic payment options are available to taxpayers. View an account and learn about other ways to pay such as an online installment agreement.
- Find answers to many tax questions using the Interactive Tax Assistant. The ITA is a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to an individual’s circumstances.
- Online tools for tax professionals. e-Services is a suite of web-based tools that allow tax professionals, reporting agents, mortgage industry, payers and others to complete transactions online with the IRS.
Other useful tools and features
- Get My Payment. People can find out when their third Economic Impact Payment is scheduled to be sent, or when and how IRS sent it with the Get My Payment application. Get My Payment updates once a day, usually overnight.
- Filing options. Find complete tax filing information for individuals, business and self-employed taxpayers, charities and non-profits, International taxpayers and government entities.
- Get an Identity Protection PIN. IP PINs are available to all taxpayers. An IP PIN is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using another taxpayers’ Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only to the taxpayer and the IRS and helps the IRS verify the identity of a taxpayer when filing an electronic or paper tax return.
- View an account. Online account is an online system that allows people to securely access their individual account information. Taxpayers can view taxes owed, balance details, information on a most recent tax return, payment plan details and more.
- Get a tax record. Request a copy of a tax return online. The Get Transcript Service is for individual taxpayers to retrieve their own transcripts for their own purposes.
- Download tax forms and instructions. Current and prior years’ forms are available. Other online options include IRS e-Books and accessible versions for people with disabilities.
- Tax Withholding Estimator. Use of this tool can help people bring their taxes paid closer to what is owed. The IRS encourages everyone to perform a “paycheck checkup” to be sure the right amount of tax is withheld based on their personal situation.
Free options for the military and some veterans
MilTax, Military OneSource’s tax service, provides online software for eligible individuals to electronically file a federal return and up to three state returns for free.
Military OneSource is a program funded by the Department of Defense that provides a range of free resources for military members, veterans and their families. More information about OneSource is available at MilitaryOneSource.mil.
Tax deadline is May 17
Although the tax filing deadline has been extended to May 17, 2021, from April 15, the IRS continues to process electronic tax returns, issue direct deposit refunds and accept electronic payments. As of April 16, the IRS received over 110 million tax returns and issued over $210 billion in refunds.
Overall, the IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return.
Posted by Jessica Ji, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.