IRS Tax Refund: How to file your taxes correctly and prevent potential delays

As the IRS embarks on a challenging season with limited staff and a 2021 backlog of returns, the list of essentials taxpayers need to know continues to grow.

According to the IRS, there were 6 million unprocessed individual returns as of December 31. In addition, those with stalled notices or refunds are struggling to reach the agency by phone.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer than 15,000 agents were available to respond to the 240 million incoming calls during the first half of 2021, one person for every 16,000 calls, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate.

“I am deeply concerned about the upcoming filing season,” said Erin M. Collins, the National Taxpayer Advocate, in a recent report to Congress.

How to avoid mistakes on your 2021 tax return before filing this season?

File as soon as you can

According to experts, people should file their tax returns as soon as they have gathered all the relevant documentation to complete the form.

The IRS says refunds should be sent within 21 days for people who file electronically and choose to receive the money owed directly into a bank account.

It can also help combat fraud by ensuring no one else can submit an incorrect return in your name

Skip the paper

Given that backlog of millions of returns, the IRS continues to emphasize the importance of electronic filing this tax season.

“Paper is the IRS’ kryptonite, and the agency is buried in it,” said National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins this week in a hearing with the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee.

Double-check tax forms with IRS transcripts

Although the IRS is moving away from facial recognition, you may still have to go through some awkward steps to access your account online.

After logging in, you’ll have access to tax records, including IRS transcripts that you can use to verify details and avoid errors that can flag your return.

How to access IRS transcripts online

  1. You must register or login to your IRS Online Account.
  2. After signing in, click “Get Transcript Online”.
  3. Pick a reason from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select your IRS transcript by year and download .pdf.

Online Filing

The IRS has said that online filing is the fastest and easiest way to file your information and get a refund in a timely manner.

According to experts, filing online is recommended because it makes tracking your return and your refund much easier than the traditional way. Not only do you get faster confirmation that the IRS has received your information, but you can track your progress on online portals.

Prevent potential delays

In this tax season, the help may be a good investment, especially if it ensures that you’ll file accurately and claim all benefits you’re eligible for.

“Yes, there are costs associated” with working with a professional, Erickson said. “But then it’s setting you up for future success.”






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