Browsing all articles tagged with efile Archives - 2017 Tax Refund Schedule

Why is my 2014 tax return still processing?

2015 IRS Tax Refund Schedule wrong for you?

By the stats, the current tax season has been quite a success. The Internal Revenue Service is reporting that, despite an abbreviated season, they are processing tax returns and issuing tax refunds at a much faster pace than last year. Why is my 2014 refund still processing?

Of course, all of the numbers in the world don’t matter when the one number you’re counting on – your own refund – is affected.

This season, I’ve heard from a number of taxpayers experiencing tax refund delays (though certainly nothing near last year’s education credit snafu). Initially, the trouble seemed to focus on those 1121 codes. The IRS was made aware of the problem and did issue a statement, saying:

A very small percentage of taxpayers may see an 1121 reference number if they check “Where’s My Refund?” after they initially were provided a projected refund date by the tool. The IRS is aware of this situation, and emphasizes that the small group of taxpayers who see this reference number should continue checking Where’s My Refund for an update. If we need more information to process their return, we will contact them — usually by mail.

Most of the taxpayers who reached out to me regarding the 1121 issue have since reported that they’ve either received their refunds or updated information about the delay.

However, shortly after the 1121 issue was made public, the focus from taxpayers on social media – and in emails, direct messages and private messages to me – has zeroed in on another code that’s popping up over and over: TC 570. There is a notable difference between the 1121 code and the TC 570: the latter is not an explicit refund code. It appears not on the “Where’s My Refund?” tool but on a taxpayer’s transcript. That’s an important distinction.

I reached out to IRS to find out whether there was any sort of systemic issue causing taxpayers to see a TC 570 on their transcript. So far, the answer to that question is no. The IRS is, however, clearly aware of the concerns and had this to say:

A Transaction Code 570 can mean different things in different cases so a taxpayer should not try to draw a conclusion based on the presence of a TC 570. The Transaction Code 570 will stop a refund from being issued until the impact of the action being taken on the account and the refund is determined and processed. Transaction Codes are used internally by the IRS to identify a transaction, adjust and research tax accounts and to maintain a history of actions posted to a taxpayer’s account. While they are reflected on transcripts they are not reflected on most public facing documents or tools like Where’s My Refund because they are difficult to interpret and can have different meaning depending on the case and associated codes and files. Again, the best way for taxpayers to check the status of their refund is by going to Where’s My Refund.

It’s a statement worth repeating. The IRS uses a lot of internal codes on transcripts and they can mean different things. And what it means exactly isn’t always apparent to the person taking the call at IRS. Does that suck? Of course it does. Trust me. I’ve been on the end of those calls trying to decipher what’s going on for taxpayers. And I totally believe that taxpayers are calling IRS and getting two or three different answers about the status of their refund. And I believe that taxpayers deserve a better answer.

But I would caution taxpayers not to try and pick apart their tax transcripts in an effort to find answers. There is no “one size fits all” answer to the TC 570 – not even in the best of circumstances. It does not necessarily equate, as some have surmised, an audit. Nor does it means, as others have posited, that the refund is subject to an offset. It could mean those things – but again, you’re not going to be able to tell from a glimpse at your transcript this early in the season.

Those codes? They don’t always mean what you think they mean.

I know that isn’t the answer that taxpayers want to hear. And trust me, I am continuing to pester IRS about these issues (believe me when I say that they have my number). But it’s not a certainty that a TC 570 on your transcript is anything sinister at this stage of the season. The data doesn’t appear to support it. And if there’s a real problem with your specific return, you’ll hear from IRS.

And yes, there have been problems. I have confirmed reports that a glitch in at least one program has resulted in the issuance of paper checks instead of direct deposit. Errors – mostly transposition of numbers – have slowed processing of other returns. There have been bounces for bad addresses. Returns have been held because of prior years when no returns were filed. And yes, identity theft continues to be a big problem especially when SocialSecurity numbers for dependents have appeared on more than one return. Clearly, not everyone is having a smooth tax season.

By the numbers, however, most taxpayers are getting their refunds as quickly as anticipated. On average, the IRS expects to issue tax refund checks to 9 of 10 taxpayers in 21 days or less. Those are pretty good odds. But that still means that 1 in 10 taxpayers will receive refund checks after that 21 day window. That sounds like a pretty small number until you calculate the total against the number of refunds issued. The IRS expects to process about 140 million tax returns this season. In 2013, they issued more than 100 million tax refund checks. If 1 in 10 taxpayers get their refunds after 21 days, that still works out to about 10 million taxpayers. That’s more than the individual populations of 42 states. It’s more than the combination populations of Alabama and South Carolina, the 23rd and 24th most populous states. So, yes, it’s a lot. But the number of taxpayers who do receive their refunds within that 21 day window? That’s more than the combined populations of our most populous states (California, Texas and Florida) or more astoundingly, the combined population of 25 of our least populous states.

Does that help those taxpayers who are depending on refund checks that have not yet been deposited? Of course not. I know you want your money. And I know that in many cases, you’re depending on that money. But work through the right channels. Keep checking the “Where’s My Refund?” tool for information. If you are advised to call the IRS, do so. If you get mail from IRS, open it. But at this stage, it truly is a waiting game. If I hear anything further (and I am pursuing these issues), rest assured that I will post it as soon as it becomes available.

Discuss this and more on the Income Tax Forums.

Need help preparing your 2015 Tax Return? Visit Hot Springs Tax Services.

Tax Refund 2014 – 2/14/2014 turbo tax netspend

It’s that time of year again. You know, the time of year where you’re relegated to doing a lot of waiting. And waiting. It’s hard, I know, between the delayed opening for tax season and the terrible weather that we’re experiencing in parts of the country. Things are moving kind of slow. Plus side? They are moving. Here’s the skinny so far:

I know, you’re already fretting about where your refund might be. The good news is that I’ve heard that refund checks are slowly making their way to your bank accounts. If you’re wondering where yours might be, you can check the“Where’s My Refund?” online tool at IRS: you can check on your status within 24 hours after the Internal Revenue Service has received your e-filed return or four weeks after you mail a paper return. The system is available pretty much all of the time but it does shut down from time to time for updating, specifically the system is unavailable every Monday from 12:00 am (Midnight) to 3:00 am EST.

There are three stages of refund claims according to the system: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.

Return Received means… well, you can figure that one out.

Refund Approved means that the IRS has processed your return and your refund has been approved. The IRS will send your refund to your bank via direct deposit or directly to you in the mail if you requested a paper check. The fastest way to get your refund is by using direct deposit.

Refund Sent means that your refund is on the way. If the IRS has sent your refund to your bank or other financial institution for direct deposit, it may take 1 – 5 days to deposit the funds into your account. If you requested a paper check, it could take several weeks for your check to arrive in the mail; the same time frame applies to debit cards.

Expect to see your refund in hand within 21 days though, anecdotal, if you use a combination of e-filing and direct deposits, last year taxpayers reported receiving their refunds with ten days of filing (fingers crossed). The system is only updated once a day (usually at night) so the IRS is imploring you to only check once a day – so many folks checked repeatedly last year that it crashed the system.

If you have limited access to internet, the IRS does have phone and walk-in updates for refunds. With limited available resources, they’re not excited about picking up the phone – but they will (maybe). But you will have to wait. They can only answer questions in person or by phone if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return.

It’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. This can happen when the return has errors or is missing information. Take the extra time to double-check the return before you send it so that you can avoid any obvious and silly mistakes, like forgetting to sign the return. If there are other issues, like duplicate claims for dependents (happens with divorces quite often), injured spouse claims or identity theft or fraud, the IRS will have to investigate a little and that will slow your refund.

If you need to file an amended return, be prepared to wait. Processing times alone for amended returns can take up to sixteen weeks. You can check on the status of refunds related to amended returns by using the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool on the IRS website.

And that brings up another issue: certain returns are a bit complicated. And processing times are longer for those returns. And you don’t want to wait. I know that you don’t want to wait because I’ve seen your emails – you know, the ones with all of your creative strategies for getting your refunds faster than you are supposed to. So let me help you out: don’t cheat to get your money faster. It’s simply not smart.

Yes, I’ve seen and heard all of the tricks. Filing as HOH to get the refund now and amending later. Filing with more dependents than you’re entitled to and figuring it out later. Overstating deductions. Understating income. And I know that you’re going to explain to me that it’s fine because you know your Uncle Jimmy did it and he got away with it. Well, super for Uncle Jimmy. But the reality is that lying on your return is wrong. It’s also criminal.

Even assuming that you don’t get charged criminally for fraud, the IRS does track patterns of tax behaviors. And if they notice that you happen to be the taxpayer who files for refund each February and amends each April, you’ll eventually be flagged. And in addition to slowing future refunds, you’ll also get socked with a pretty nasty punch. Trust me. These are the clients who end up in my office with a tax liability nearly two or three times the original amount owed once the penalties and interest have been piled on. It’s not smart. It’s wrong. And it’s completely not worth it.

So there you have it. The quick and dirty state of tax refunds for 2014 to date. Unlike last year’s fiasco with the educational credits, I haven’t heard of any patterns of errors on the part of IRS or any specific software companies. I’m constantly checking for you and I’ll be posting updates as they are made available.

Until then, be patient, be diligent and try not to rub that whole you’re-getting-a-refund thing in our faces. Some of us might be a little bitter.

Learn about Topic 152. Discuss this on the Income Tax Forums.

First IRS 2014 Direct Deposits Just Went Out.

February 6th, 2014, 12:00A.M. the I.R.S. sent out thousands of tax payments to individuals who filed before January 31st, 2014. Some individuals who filed before January 31st, 2014 were not included in this due to the overflow of individuals who submitted their returns. Those individuals should watch the Where’s My Refund page and expect a payout on the next payout day being “on or before February 13th, 2014.”

Also a very important note: “if your payment was sent to like turbotax type where it has to go through another bank to take out fees then you have to wait until that bank opens and they will process them. Some banks are not open yet so check your accounts later this morning or afternoon.”

Please reply to this post when you submitted, were accepted, approved, and if you received your refund last night.

The Internal Revenue Service begun accepting returns January 24th, 2014.

We have received hundreds of reports that the I.R.S. has been accepting tax returns before January 31st, 2014. It seems that they have started accepting select few income tax returns on January 24th 2014. We contacted the I.R.S. on that day and were told that to help with the case load, they have accepted some returns early. They plan is to accept returns all next week that meet very strict rules. We have adjusted our 2014 IRS E-File Cycle Chart to match with the reports that we have received. Read more »

Taxpayers who want to take advantage of the Internal Revenue Service’s free tax preparation e-filing program won’t have to wait. The Free File program opens to taxpayers on Jan. 17, two weeks before the IRS starts processing 2013 tax returns.

Free file 2014The IRS will not start processing any tax returns until Jan. 31. The government shutdown in October 2013 slowed IRS updates of forms and tests of its computer systems, leading officials to push the official opening of this year’s filing season to the end of the month.

But that doesn’t mean taxpayers have to sit around. Free File companies will hold taxpayers’ completed tax returns and then submit them on Jan. 31.

The early opening of Free File is good news for millions of eligible taxpayers. They are among the group of electronic filers, which increases every year, primarily because they can get their refunds more quickly.

And for the 2014 filing season, a few more taxpayers should be able to use the Free File option. The income eligibility limit has been increased to $58,000. That’s $1,000 more than last year.

Free File 2014 basics

  • You can file your 2013 tax return through Free File if your adjusted gross income is $58,000 or less.
  • The income cutoff applies regardless of your filing status.
  • Free File is for individual, not business, tax returns. However, a sole proprietor who files Schedule C with Form 1040 can use Free File.
  • Some participating Free File vendors also offer free state tax return preparation and e-file.
  • Some Free File companies offer free electronic extensions. But remember, you still must pay any taxes due by the April 15 deadline or you’ll be charged interest and possibly penalties on any tax you owe.
  • You do not download anything. All of the software, which is encrypted to protect privacy, remains at the Free File company website you select, and your return is filed from there.
  • Access Free File by going to IRS.gov and clicking on the Free File icon. Beware of offers by outside websites to take you to the Free File website, as they could be scams operated by identity thieves.

The Free File program is a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a group of tax preparation software manufacturers. Fourteen companies are expected to participate in the program this filing season.

“All the (2014 filing season tax software companies) have done it before. We have experienced providers within the commercial world and the Free File world,” says Tim Hugo, executive director of the Clifton, Va.-based Free File Alliance.

Free File was created in 2003 as a way to get more people to e-file. Its target is taxpayers who might otherwise not e-file because they don’t want or can’t afford to pay the cost of the computer filing programs or professional tax help.

Who qualifies?

The key qualification for Free File services is income. This year, taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less, regardless of filing status, can use the online program.

Participating tax software companies can establish other eligibility requirements. Some may limit usage of their programs based on geographic location, military service or other criteria.

To determine which software best fits your filing needs, the Free File website includes an online search tool to help you select one of the participating Free File companies.

Free File contributions to e-filing

In 2013, almost 144 million tax returns were filed electronically, according to IRS data complete through May 2013. That represents a nearly 2% increase in e-filed returns over the previous year. The sector that showed the most growth last year, according to IRS statistics, was tax returns prepared and filed by taxpayers on their own.

Around 3 million of those self-prepared returns e-filed last year came through Free File, says Hugo. That number has held steady for the past few years.

Three million of those returns e-filed last year came through Free File, says Tim Hugo, executive director of the Clifton, Va.-based Free File Alliance.

“We would love to have more,” says Hugo, but he points to the program’s overall contribution to e-filing. Since its inception, says Hugo, Free File has accounted for the submission of more than 40 million federal returns.

“We get people in the door for e-filing, people who’ve never e-filed before,” says Hugo. “They may go to a commercial product later on, but they will continue to e-file. We are very pleased with that.”

Hugo says the program also has evolved to meet taxpayer needs. “We look at Free File as a three-legged stool,” he says. “There is the traditional Free File, fillable forms and VITA providing services to every income.”

Working with VITA

The filing needs of lower-income taxpayers are addressed through Free File’s continuing partnership with the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, popularly known as VITA.

VITA tax-filing clinics are set up each year in public places — from libraries to community centers to shopping malls. Its volunteers provide free filing assistance to low- and moderate-income taxpayers who might not be able to afford tax software or professional filing help. This filing season, the services of IRS-certified VITA volunteers are available to people who make $52,000 or less.

Hugo says Free File is again placing kiosks, similar to self-checkout stations in retail stores, at VITA sites nationwide.

“You can do your return there or partially do your return and, if you need help, ask a VITA volunteer,” says Hugo. “This helps some of those who are most in need of tax help.”

The IRS has an online search tool to help taxpayers locate a nearby VITA site. Taxpayers also can call (800) 906-9887 for VITA locations.

Free fillable forms remain

The IRS says that Free File is available to 70% of taxpayers. But if you are among the 30%  making too much money to use the service, you still can file for free using the tax agency’s fillable federal return form option.

Here, online versions of the most commonly used IRS tax forms are available through the Free File page. You fill them out on your computer and then e-file the documents at no charge.

Just don’t mistake the forms for tax software.

The fillable forms offer only basic calculations of what’s entered on the form. And you must figure out what goes on the form without the online prompting found in software.

Also, the information is not automatically transferred to associated forms. That means you must, for example, manually enter your itemized deductions total from Schedule A to the appropriate line on Form 1040.

Still, taxpayers with relatively simple filing needs who don’t want to buy tax software might find fillable forms a welcome alternative.

Note, however, that you’ll have to wait a bit longer to use the free fillable forms option. They won’t be available until Jan. 31, the same day that the IRS opens its filing doors to all taxpayers.

IRS Delays Start of 2014 U.S. Tax Filing Citing ShutdownThe U.S. Internal Revenue Service delayed the start of the tax-filing season for one to two weeks, citing the recent 16-day federal government shutdown.

The IRS, which had been scheduled to open filing Jan. 21, 2014, will now begin accepting returns for tax year 2013 as early as Jan. 28. The agency will make a final decision on the date in December, according to a statement today.

“Readying our systems to handle the tax season is an intricate, detailed process, and we must take the time to get it right,” Danny Werfel, the acting IRS commissioner, said in the statement.

This is the second year in a row that the IRS has postponed the filing season. Returns for 2012 were accepted starting on Jan. 30 after Congress delayed setting some tax policies.

“Considering the IRS has dealt with much larger changes on far shorter notice over the past years without delay, its reasons are suspect,” Sarah Swinehart, a spokeswoman for the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee, said in an e-mail.

The IRS furloughed more than 90 percent of its employees during the shutdown, which began Oct. 1 when Congress was unable to pass a spending bill and ended after midnight Oct. 17.

‘Adds Insult’

“This is yet another unfortunate effect of a shutdown that Republicans should have never caused,” Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement. “This tax-filing delay just adds insult to injury for Americans hoping to get a jump-start on their tax refunds in January.”

The delay won’t alter the April 15 deadline for taxpayers to file their returns or seek extensions.

At the start of the filing season, the IRS largely issues refunds to taxpayers who file as soon as they can. This year, the IRS issued $135 billion in refunds from Jan. 30 to March 1. That’s more than was paid from March 2 to May 10, when the agency received 50 percent more returns.

Delaying refunds could have an additional consequence in 2014. The U.S. debt limit is suspended through Feb. 7, and changes in the government’s projected spending after that date will affect the timing of how long the Treasury Department’s extraordinary measures to prevent a default will last.

Because the government may issue more refunds after Feb. 7 than previously anticipated, a potential lapse in borrowing authority could come a few days sooner than projected, said Loren Adler, research director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in Washington.

The delayed start of tax-filing season probably will create a backlog of potential returns for the start date, rather than delaying all returns equally.

“Those are folks who are trying to do this as soon as their books are in order,” Adler said.

The Bipartisan Policy Center projects that the U.S. will run out of borrowing authority between the end of February and mid-March 2014.

Discuss this and more in the Income Tax Forums.

IRS Shutdown?

The October 15th Deadline Remains in Effect for Taxpayers Who Requested a Six-month Extension to File Tax Return.

Just because IRS employees are not available to answer phones or issue refunds, due to the current lapse in federal appropriations does not mean filing deadlines and payment due dates can be delayed.  IRS warns all taxpayers of the continuing requirement to meet their tax obligations as normal. Individuals and businesses should keep filing their tax returns and making deposits with the IRS, as required by law.

Many of the more than 12 million individuals who requested an automatic six-month extension earlier this year have yet to file their Form 1040 for 2012. Though Oct. 15 is the last day for most people to file, some groups still have more time, including members of the military and others serving in Afghanistan or other combat zone localities who typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due. People with extensions in parts of Colorado affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides also have more time, until Dec. 2, 2013, to file and pay.

The IRS offered several reminders for taxpayers during the current appropriations lapse:

  • Taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns electronically using IRS e-file or the Free File system to reduce the chance of errors.
  • Taxpayers can file their tax returns electronically or on paper. Payments accompanying paper and e-filed tax returns will be accepted and processed as the IRS receives them. Tax refunds will not be issued until normal government operations resume.
  • IRS operations are limited during the appropriations lapse, with live assistors on the phones and at Taxpayer Assistance Centers unavailable. However,www.IRS.gov and most automated toll-free telephone applications remain operational.
  • Tax software companies, tax practitioners and Free File remain available to assist with taxes during this period.

E-file Now – The IRS urged taxpayers to choose the speed and convenience of electronic filing. IRS e-file is fast, accurate and secure, making it an ideal option for those rushing to meet the Oct. 15 deadline. The tax agency verifies receipt of an e-filed return, and people who file electronically make fewer mistakes too.   Of the nearly 141.6 million returns received by the IRS so far this year, 83.5 percent or just over 118.2 million have been e-filed.

Anyone expecting a refund can get it sooner by choosing direct deposit. Taxpayers can choose to have their refunds deposited into as many as three accounts. See Form 8888 for details.

Payment Options – Taxpayers can e-pay what they owe, either online or by phone, through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), by electronic funds withdrawal or with a credit or debit card. There is no IRS fee for any of these services, but for debit and credit card payments only, the private-sector card processors do charge a convenience fee. For those who itemize their deductions, these fees can be claimed on next year’s Schedule A Line 23. Those who choose to pay by check or money order should make the payment out to the “United States Treasury”.

Taxpayers must be sure to file their return by Oct. 15, even if they can’t pay the full amount due. Doing so will avoid the late-filing penalty, normally five percent per month, that would otherwise apply to any unpaid balance after Oct. 15. However, interest, currently at the rate of 3 percent per year compounded daily, and late-payment penalties, normally 0.5 percent per month, will continue to accrue.

For additional information seehttp://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Reminder:-Oct.-15-Tax-Deadline-Remains-During-Appropriations-Lapse

When is the first day to efile in 2014?

A very common question asked is “when is the first day to efile in 2014?” The simple answer is:

 first day to efile in 2014

January 25 2014 is the first day to efile in 2014 according to the 2014 IRS Refund Cycle Chart for Tax Year 2013. This information is based off prior year’s information and not I.R.S. confirmed. We will be keeping you up to date with the latest in IRS news and Income Tax IRS Refund Cycle Chart dates as they are posted. Technically you can file on January 5th, 2014, but the I.R.S. forms will not be available until the end of January 2014.

Discuss this and more on the Income Tax Forums.

2012 IRS e-file cycle chart and payment information.

Direct Deposit and Check date’s below. Please see disclaimer.

 

IRS accepts your return (by 11:00 am) between…* Projected Direct Deposit Sent* Projected Paper Check Mailed*
January 30, 2013
2/6/2013
2/8/2013
January 31
and
February 6, 2013
2/13/2013
2/15/2013
February 9
and
February 13, 2013
2/20/2013
2/22/2013
February 16
and
February 20, 2013
2/27/2013
3/1/2013
February 23
and
February 27, 2013
3/6/2013
3/8/2013
March 1
and
March 6, 2013
3/13/2013
3/15/2013
March 8
and
March 13, 2013
3/20/2013
3/22/2013
March 15
and
March 20, 2013
3/27/2013
3/29/2013
March 22
and
March 27, 2013
4/3/2013
4/5/2013
March 29
and
April 3, 2013
4/10/2013
4/12/2013
April 5
and
April 10, 2013
4/17/2013
4/19/2013
April 12
and
April 17, 2013
4/24/2013
4/26/2013
April 19
and
April 24, 2013
5/1/2013
5/3/2013
April 26
and
May 1, 2013
5/8/2013
5/10/2013
May 3
and
May 8, 2013
5/15/2013
5/17/2013
May 10
and
May 15, 2013
5/22/2013
5/24/2013
May 17
and
May 22, 2013
5/29/2013
5/31/2013
May 24
and
May 29, 2013
6/5/2013
6/7/2013
May 31
and
June 5, 2013
6/12/2013
6/14/2013 Read more »

E-File your 2012 Income Tax today to get your refund back early!

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