Tax Resource Center
After submitting your return to the IRS, you can start checking the IRS website's Where’s My Refund? or the IRS2Go mobile app. After being accepted by the IRS, most refunds are issued in less than 21 days.
Once the IRS approves your refund, you will be given a date as to when your refund will be issued. In some situations, the IRS may need additional information to approve your refund. They will contact you by mail.
Why is My Refund Amount Different?
Is your refund different than on the tax return you filed? Examples are: you owe past-due federal tax or state income tax, you have state unemployment debts, you owe past child support, or other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. If your refund is offset, you will receive a notice in the mail from the IRS or the Treasury Department's Bureau of Fiscal Services.
Calling the IRS 1(800) 464-1040 will not speed up the process of receiving your refund. When answered, representatives can only tell you the status of your return and will not be able to inform you when you will receive your refund.
Special Tax Situations
Form 8332 is for those claiming a child who lives with or without you for part of a year.
EIC Documentation or Earned Income Credit
Those who have a child and qualify for the earned income credit will need to provide documentation of proof you are able to claim the child.
Such documentation includes:
- Mail With Your Child’s Name and Address on It
- School Record
- Daycare Statement With Child’s Name and Address on It
- Doctor Bill or Insurance Notice With Child’s Name and Address on It
What’s New in 2020
The standard mileage rates for 2020 are:
- 2020 Business Rate: 57.5 Cents
- Medical and Moving Miles: 17 Cents in 2020; 20 Cents in 2019; 18 Cents in 2018
- Volunteer Rates Will Remain the Same at 14 Cents
- 2019 Business Rate: 58 Cents
- 2018 Business Rate: 54.5 Cents
New Law Impacting When Some Will Receive Their Refund
January 1st might have been the first day to submit your return to the IRS. However, a new law taking effect this year will impact when you receive your refund.
The PATH (Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes) Act of 2015 requires the IRS to hold refunds related to tax returns claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until mid-February (February 15). The IRS must hold the entire refund and not just the portion related to the EIC or ACTC.
The IRS wants to ensure everyone understands that your refund will not arrive in your bank account until the week of February 27th, if there are no processing issues. Calling the IRS office will further delay the processing of returns, so the best and easiest method to track your estimated refund date is by using the Where’s My Refund tab, found in our Tax Center tab.
Tips for Choosing a Tax Return Preparer
Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. So, it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when someone else prepares your return:
- Check the person's qualifications. New regulations require all paid tax return preparers to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). In addition to making sure they have a PTIN, ask if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization and attends continuing education classes. The IRS is also phasing in a new test requirement to make sure those who are not an enrolled agent, CPA, or attorney have met minimal competency requirements. Those subject to the test will become a Registered Tax Return Preparer once they pass it.
- Check the preparer's history. Check to see if the preparer has a questionable history with the Better Business Bureau and check for any disciplinary actions and licensure status through the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants, the state bar associations for attorneys, and the IRS Office of Enrollment for enrolled agents.
- Find out about their service fees. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers. Also, always make sure that any refund due is sent to you or deposited into an account in your name. Under no circumstances should all or part of your refund be directly deposited into a preparer’s bank account.
- Make sure the tax preparer is accessible. Make sure you will be able to contact the tax preparer after the return has been filed even after the April due date in case questions arise.
- Provide all records and receipts needed to prepare your return. Reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your total income and your qualifications for expenses, deductions, and other items. Do not use a preparer who is willing to electronically file your return before you receive your Form W-2 using your last pay stub. This is against IRS e-file rules.
- Review the entire return before signing it. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.
- Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes his or her preparer tax identification number (PTIN). A paid preparer must sign the return and include his or her PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. The preparer must also give you a copy of the return.
Taxpayer Bill of Rights
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. Explore your rights and my obligations to protect them.
The Right to Be Informed
The Right to Quality Service
The Right to Pay No More Than the Correct Amount of Tax
The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
The Right to Finality
The Right to Privacy
The Right to Confidentiality
The Right to Retain Representation
The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System