Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. And it is that time of year again…
So, you heard that the tax deadline was extended to May 17th and have been procrastinating preparing the dreaded yearly tax filing. Do not fret! We are here to help. It is time to fire up Turbo Tax or your favorite tax preparation software to begin working on your 2020 Federal tax return. Below are a few tips to help you navigate this years’ filing and what to bring to the party:
1. Names, dates of birth and social security numbers for everyone in your family.
2. Any tax documents that apply to you for the 2020 tax year. Most taxpayers will have the following:
EXCEPTION! Sadly, the fraudsters are at it again and many individuals received Form 1099-G, but never filed for unemployment benefits. In the state of Ohio alone, it is estimated that $330 Million has been paid in fraudulent unemployment claims. If you received a 1099-G and did not apply for unemployment benefits, contact your state unemployment office immediately to report the fraud. You should also check your credit report to make sure your credit information has not been accessed (in our experience to date, the information is being used for unemployment benefits only, but it is prudent to check this as well.) Fraudulent unemployment claims are not taxable to you, but beware that you may receive a notice from the IRS later.
4. Other interesting questions you will be asked in your tax software:
5. Driver’s License
6. Bank Account information – routing number and account number of an account with your name on it.
Time to jump in and prepare that return! There are many resources available at https://www.irs.gov online for frequently asked questions and there are many examples included that may help specific situations. Once you are finished, we highly recommend that you electronically file your Federal return and have your refunds directly deposited whenever possible. The IRS is severely behind due to COVID, with many IRS employees working remotely and paper filing will cause even more delays.
Now that you have filed your Federal return and it has been accepted with the IRS, you can expect your refund in about 21 days (if you took our advice and electronically filed your return and requested direct deposit.) Expect to wait up to 12 weeks for paper filed returns that request paper checks. You can track the status of your refund at https://www.irs.gov/refunds
Congratulations! Another tax filing season is behind you.