You’ve filed your return, now what?
April 24, 2019 | Brad McClung
April 15th has come and gone but now what? Here are a few things to keep in mind after your tax filing is complete.
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’ve 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. All you need to do is go to the link and click on “Refund Status” near the top of the page. Once you have clicked “Refund Status,” you will need to provide your Social Security number, your filing status, and your exact refund amount.
In a situation in which you filed a return that needs to be amended 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.
Occasionally tax returns can be rejected. If this happens, you will receive an email informing you of the rejection. The email will also state the reason why your return was rejected. Typically, reasons for rejection are as simple as an incorrect Social Security number, an incorrect birth date, or an incorrect PIN or AGI number.
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. The IRS also offers what is called an Offer in Compromise. An Offer in Compromise is set up in a situation where the taxpayer is unable to pay their full tax bill. It is only offered if the IRS believes that the amount to be paid is greater than or equal to the amount they could expect for the taxpayer to make.
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.
Contact an HHM accountant for more information.