‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool on #IRS.gov takes guesswork out of when to expect #refunds

WASHINGTON – The IRS reminds taxpayers that one of the best ways to check on their refund is the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website and the IRS2Go app. Updated once a day, usually overnight, this useful tool gives taxpayers a projected refund issuance date as soon as it is approved.

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, and the fastest way to get a refund is to use IRS e-file and direct deposit. Taxpayers should also know they can have their refunds divided into up to three separate accounts.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited. People are encouraged to first check the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers can also review the IRS Services Guide which links to additional IRS online services.

Please note: Ordering a tax transcript will not speed delivery of tax refunds nor does the posting of a tax transcript to a taxpayer’s account determine the timing of a refund delivery. Calls to request transcripts for this purpose are unnecessary. Transcripts are available online and by mail at Get Transcript.

A few necessary items
To use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool, taxpayers will need to enter their Social Security number, tax filing status (single, married, head of household) and exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the return.

Taxpayers who file electronically can check “Where’s My Refund?” within 24 hours after they receive their e-file acceptance notification. The tool can tell taxpayers when their tax return has been received, when the refund is approved and the date the refund is to be issued.

Some refunds may take longer
While the IRS continues to process electronic and paper tax returns, issue refunds, and accept payments, there are delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. If a taxpayer filed a paper tax return, the return will be processed in the order in which it was received. Do not file a second tax return or call the IRS.

Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund. In some cases, a tax return may require additional review. It is also important to consider the time it takes for a financial institution to post the refund to an account or for a refund check to be delivered by mail.

Taxpayers who owe
The IRS encourages taxpayers who owe to do a Paycheck Check Up every year to ensure enough tax is withheld from their pay to avoid an unexpected tax bill.

Back to Top

#IRS reminder: #Taxpayers can get an #extension to #Oct. 15 to #file #taxes

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers that they have until the postponed due date of July 15, 2020, to file an extension for their 2019 federal tax return. The extension gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file, but taxes owed are due by July 15.

The July 15 due date generally applies to all taxpayers who have an income tax filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Taxpayers and tax professionals should continue to use electronic options. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically. Doing so, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. Free File Fillable Forms means there is a free option for everyone.
 
Here’s how to get an extension of time to file
Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can request a filing extension to Oct. 15 in one of two ways:

Businesses that need additional time to file income tax returns must file Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns.

IRS.gov assistance
Taxpayers may find answers to many of their questions using the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA), a tax law resource that works using a series of questions and responses. IRS.gov has answers for Frequently Asked Questions. The IRS website has tax information in: Spanish (Español)Chinese (中文)Korean (한국어)Russian (Pусский)Vietnamese (Tyng Việt); and Haitian Creole (Kreyòl ayisyen). Go to IRS.gov/payments for electronic payment options.

Back to Top

Major changes to retirement plans due to #COVID-19

Qualified individuals affected by COVID-19 may be able to withdraw up to $100,000 from their eligible retirement plans, including IRAs, between Jan. 1 and Dec. 30, 2020.

These coronavirus-related distributions aren’t subject to the 10% additional tax that generally applies to distributions made before reaching age 59 and a half, but they are still subject to regular tax. Taxpayers can include coronavirus-related distributions as income on tax returns over a three-year period. They must repay the distribution to a plan or IRA within three years.

Some plans may have relaxed rules on plan loan amounts and repayment terms. The limit on loans made between March 27 and Sept. 22, 2020 is raised to $100,000. Plans may suspend loan repayments due between March 27 and Dec. 31, 2020.

#Qualifications for relief
The law defines a qualifying person as someone who:

  • Has tested positive and been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Has a dependent or spouse who has tested positive and been diagnosed with COVID-19
    Experiences financial hardship due to them, their spouse or a member of their household:
    • Being quarantined, furloughed or laid off or having reduced work hours
    • Being unable to work due to lack of childcare
    • Closing or reducing hours of a business that they own or operate
    • Having pay or self-employment income reduced
    • Having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed

Employers can choose whether to implement these coronavirus-related distribution and loan rules.Qualified individuals can claim the tax benefits of coronavirus-related distribution rules even if plan provisions aren’t changed. Administrators can rely on an individual’s certification that they’re a qualified person.

Required minimum distributions
People who already took a required minimum distribution from certain retirement accounts in 2020 can now roll those funds back into a retirement account.

The 60-day rollover period has been extended to Aug. 31, 2020.

Under the relief, taxpayers with required minimum distributions from certain retirement plans can skip them this year. Distributions that can be skipped were due in 2020 from a defined-contribution retirement plan. These include a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, as well as an IRA. Among the people who can skip them are those who would have had to take the first distribution by April 1, 2020. This waiver does not apply to defined-benefit plans.

More information
Guidance for Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Loans from Retirement Plans Under the CARES Act
Coronavirus-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs questions and answers
Guidance on Waiver of 2020 Required Minimum Distributions

Share this tip on social media — #IRSTaxTip: COVID Tax Tip 2020-85: Major changes to retirement plans due to COVID-19. https://go.usa.gov/xfgge

Back to Top

IRS extends July 15, other upcoming deadlines for tornado victims in parts of the South; Provides other relief

WASHINGTON – Victims of the April tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that took place in parts of Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina will have until Oct. 15, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, this includes Clarke, Covington, Grenada, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Panola and Walthall counties in Mississippi, Bradley and Hamilton counties in Tennessee and Aiken, Barnwell, Berkeley, Colleton, Hampton, Marlboro, Oconee, Orangeburg and Pickens counties in South Carolina.

Taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on April 12. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Oct. 15, 2020, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2019 individual and business returns that, due to COVID-19, were due on July 15. Among other things, this also means that affected taxpayers will have until Oct. 15 to make 2019 IRA contributions.

The Oct. 15 deadline also applies to estimated tax payments for the first two quarters of 2020 that were due on July 15, and the third quarter estimated tax payment normally due on Sept. 15. It also includes the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30 and July 31.    

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after April 12 and before April 27 will be abated as long as the deposits were made by April 27.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

The IRS automatically provides filing and payment relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227, once normal operations resume. For information on services currently available from the IRS, visit the IRS operations and services page at IRS.gov/Coronavirus. 

Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2020 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year. This means that taxpayers can, if they choose, claim these losses on the 2019 return they are filling out this tax season.

Be sure to write the appropriate FEMA declaration number on any return claiming a loss. The numbers are 4536 for Mississippi, 4541 for Tennessee and 4542 for South Carolina. See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these storms and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

Back to Top

IRS announces rollover relief for required minimum distributions from retirement accounts that were waived under the CARES Act

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today announced that anyone who already took a required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2020 from certain retirement accounts now has the opportunity to roll those funds back into a retirement account following the CARES Act RMD waiver for 2020.

The 60-day rollover period for any RMDs already taken this year has been extended to Aug. 31, 2020, to give taxpayers time to take advantage of this opportunity.

The IRS described this change in Notice 2020-51, released today. The Notice also answers questions regarding the waiver of RMDs for 2020 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act.

The CARES Act enabled any taxpayer with an RMD due in 2020 from a defined-contribution retirement plan, including a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, or an IRA, to skip those RMDs this year. This includes anyone who turned age 70 1/2 in 2019 and would have had to take the first RMD by April 1, 2020. This waiver does not apply to defined-benefit plans.

In addition to the rollover opportunity, an IRA owner or beneficiary who has already received a distribution from an IRA of an amount that would have been an RMD in 2020 can repay the distribution to the IRA by Aug. 31, 2020. The notice provides that this repayment is not subject to the one rollover per 12-month period limitation and the restriction on rollovers for inherited IRAs.

The notice provides two sample amendments that employers may adopt to give plan participants and beneficiaries whose RMDs are waived a choice as to whether or not to receive the waived RMD.

Back to Top

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑