Upcoming due dates and steps to take once your filing is complete
Before we discuss what to do after you file your return, it is important to note upcoming due dates for April 18, 2022.
- Form 1040: Individual tax return for tax year 2021
- As opposed to the traditional April 15 due date, this year’s individual tax due date is April 18, 2022.
- Form 4868: Individual tax return extension for tax year 2021
- If you choose to extend, the individual tax return extension is also due on this day but please note it is not an extension of tax payments due.
- Form 1040-ES: 1st-quarter 2022 estimated tax payments
- If you are self-employed or have income that requires quarterly estimated taxes, your Form 1040-ES is due by this date.
- Form 1041: Income Return for Estates and Trusts
- If you are a fiduciary of an estate or trust, this form is due April 18, 2022.
- Form 7004: Estates and Trust Income Return Extension
- If you choose to extend your 1041, the extension must be filed by midnight of April 18, 2022.
- 2021 IRA Contributions: This day is also the last day to fund your retirement account for 2021 (if you contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.)
Economic Impact Payments
Economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, should not be reported in your gross income on your tax return. So, as you await your refund, rest assured that any stimulus money your received in 2021 will have no effect on the amount of the refund you receive.
Advance Child Tax Credit
Advance Child Tax Credit payments are not income and should not be reported as income on your tax return. Advance Child Tax Credits are advance payments of your tax year 2021 Child Tax Credit. While not taxable, the amount received during the year as an advance will reduce the benefit of the Child Tax Credit amount that you receive on your 2021 tax return. If your income is above the threshold for receiving the Child Tax Credit or if the Advanced Child Tax Credit received is for a child that is not claimed as a dependent on your 2021 tax return, you could be subject to repayment when filing your return. To opt out of receiving the Advance Child Tax Credit for the 2022 tax year, you will need to follow the instructions here.
The first thing you should do after filing is verify with the IRS that your return has been accepted. If you have electronically filed, you are usually able to view tax return information within 72 hours of filing. If you mailed a paper copy, it may take up to four weeks before you receive further information. Once you have verified that the IRS accepted your return and you are expecting a refund, you can begin to track the status of your refund.
The IRS provides access to the status of your refund through an online tool at irs.gov/refunds. All you need to do is go to the link and click on "Check My Refund Status" near the top of the page. You can provide your Social Security number, your filing status, and your exact refund amount to see the status of your refund.
If you find yourself in a situation that requires an amendment to a prior return and the amended return results in a refund, the refund can still be collected if the amended return is filed within three years of the date you filed the original return. For example, say you filed a return April 15, 2019. You have until April 15, 2022 to amend and receive your refund. However, there are a few instances that allow for longer than three years to amend. For example, the statute of limitations on bad debts provides seven years' time from the due date of the return for the year that the debt became worthless.
When filing a return with a balance due, the IRS accepts payment in a variety of forms. You can pay with a check or money order, a debit or credit card, a direct withdrawal from a checking or savings account, or set up an installment plan.
Once you are filed and your refund or payment is settled, your tax records should be kept for a minimum of three years from the date of filing, as the statute of limitations is three years after you file the return. However, the statute of limitations is six years for any taxpayer who, either purposefully or accidentally, files a return that reports their gross income 25% lower than actual. Although it is generally okay to discard tax records after three years, a copy of each year's tax return should be kept indefinitely. Unfiled returns and fraudulent returns are not protected from audit by the statute of limitations, so it is important to keep copies of your returns to prove to the IRS that you did in fact file if ever questioned.