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Millions of taxpayers have already received big refund checks, as the 2014 tax filing season seems to be humming along without a hitch. IRS issuing many refund checks already.

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it issued $64.5 billion in refunds to 19.5 million taxpayers as of Feb. 7, a total dollar amount that was up 24% from the same time last year. The average refund check issued this year, $3,317, is also 4.6% larger than last year.

It’s not too surprising that this filing season is running more smoothly than last year, when the IRS lagged the previous year’s pace for issuing refunds throughout most of the filing season. The agency had to put off accepting certain tax forms until as late as March because it was updating its systems following the tax-code revamps caused by the fiscal-cliff legislation.

But taxpayers are also submitting their returns more quickly. The IRS received more than 27 million returns as of Feb. 7, up 2.5% from the same time in 2013. Nearly 96% of those were filed electronically. Samuel Hale, 21, a college student near Fort Worth, Texas, says his refund was deposited into his checking account Friday morning, a week after he filed his return electronically using online software. “I was very surprised,” says Hale, who couldn’t file his return until April last year because of a missing W-2 form.

In an interesting shift, the data shows more taxpayers are doing their own returns so far this tax season. Roughly half of the returns submitted, or 13.3 million, were self prepared, up 14.7% from last year. Typically, about 60% of returns are handled by a tax pro, according to IRS data.

Of course, not all taxpayers have been able to file their returns yet. Some people are still waiting on paperwork from their brokers, employers or colleges that they need to report all income and claim certain tax breaks. And some people aren’t eager to file their returns. Taxpayers who need to cut a check to the IRS generally wait until closer to April 15 to file.

Taxpayers can track their refunds using the  “Where’s My Refund?” tool starting 24 hours after filing electronically, or four weeks after mailing in a return. About 90% of refunds are issued within 21 days, though some may be delayed if there is an issue with the return.

Discuss this and more 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.

I.R.S. have finally updated their Where’s My Refund tool. They will be unloading millions of dollars over the next few days to taxpayers.

We have received news that the I.R.S. updated their Where’s My Refund webpage last night at 12 A.M.. Thousands of people have their Direct Deposit date sets to “on or before February 6th, 2014”. This means that the February 5th payout date is still correct. They will send the funds to the bank on Monday and the funds will be set to be direct deposited on Wednesday February 5th 2014. This will give your bank time to handle the huge load of all of the transfer they receive of millions of dollars over a day period.

I.R.S. release millions of dollars to tax payersPlease check the I.R.S. Where’s My Refund webpage and then be watching your bank account for the direct deposit. We strive to keep our schedule as accurate as possible and hope that you have enjoyed reading.

We are compiling a list of refund dates for 2014, so please visit this post and comment when you were accepted versus when you actually received your refund. Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, tell your friends about us.

Thank you.

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 »

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

2014 IRS Refund Cycle Chart and e-file payment information.

This is a schedule for 2014 IRS Refund Cycle Chart. Direct Deposit and Check date’s below. Please see disclaimer. 2014 tax refund schedule is listed below for information purposes. This is just for the first week. Find out when you’re state income tax refund will be in. Please consider donating $1 to $5 to us for help with cost of running the site. Thank you.

2014 IRS E-File Cycle ChartPlease note that due to heavy volumes on the opening week of tax season, several direct deposits may be pushed to the second week of payouts. 

IRS approves your return (by 11:00 am) between…* Projected Direct Deposit Sent on or before* Projected Paper Check Mailed*
January 24 and January 31 2014 2/6/2014 & 2/10/2014 2/7/2014 Read more »

We found an interesting article about President Obama’s suspected involvement with the IRS Scandal in 2013.

The revelation that acting IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the period in which conservative groups were being targeted with tax audits gives us the first real indication of the extent to which this scandal reaches into the White House.

The incredible frequency of the visits — essentially weekly — indicate that President Obama must have been deeply involved with the inner workings of the audits and harassment of conservative groups. If Schulman was in the White House every week, what was he there to talk about?

Not Obamacare. Not without having Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in attendance, you wouldn’t. About Treasury issues? Deficit reduction? Not without Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

The obvious reason is that Obama was following the IRS audits with an obsessive, personal involvement.

Apparently, the Citizens United scandal so galvanized him into action and tapped so deeply into his psyche that he was determined personally to supervise the castration of the wealthy people and groups whose access to the political system was opened wide by the Court.

To see a man who held a subordinate, non-policy making position 157 times, you have to be a president on a mission.

It transforms one’s sense of the scandal from a rogue agency to a rogue president using the agency as his personal instrument. An instrument of vengeance, self-defense and political influence.

Richard Nixon was doomed when we all realized that the paranoia of the man had infected his entire administration.

When Chuck Colson led the plumbers unit to investigate leaks and to use the IRS to terrify and intimidate his enemies, we realized that he was operating as Nixon’s man doing Nixon’s bidding based on the needs of Nixon’s psyche.

No we realize that the IRS audits and the harassment of conservative groups went very deep in Obama’s priority system. This scandal will destroy him.

Or, as the Greeks said in ancient times, “Those who the gods would destroy they first make mad with power.”

Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of “Outrage.” To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com.
We will keep you updated as details on the IRS Scandal come out.
You can discuss this @ The Income Tax Forums.
Get the full story about the 2013 IRS Scandal at Income Tax Efile Website.

Late filing your 2012 Income Tax Return? 

If you’re getting an income tax refund, no need to panic. You don’t even need to file an extension.

2012 tax returns that are due a refund have until April 15, 2016 (October 15, 2016 with an extension) to be filed with the IRS before the statute of limitations on the refund runs out. If you don’t file by then, the U.S. Treasury simply keeps your “donation.”

However, if you owe additional tax, file your return as soon as you can, even if you can’t pay your tax bill right away.

The penalties for not filing are much higher than the penalties for not paying, and the longer you wait, the worse it gets. See the What are the penalties for filing late? section below.

Can I e-file after the April 15 deadline?

Filing Income Tax Return LateYes, you can e-file your 2012 tax return through October 15, 2013. After that, the IRS shuts down e-filing to get ready for the following tax year, and you will need to file a conventional paper return.

Click here for tax year 2012 filing deadlines.

What are the penalties for filing late?

It all depends.

  • There is no penalty if you’re getting a refund, provided you file within the allotted 3-year timeframe.
    • After 3 years, the “penalty” is forfeiture of your tax refund, as mentioned above.
  • There is no penalty if you filed an extension and paid any additional taxes owed by April 15, as long as you file your return by the October 15 deadline.
  • late filing penalty applies if you owe taxes and didn’t file your return or extension by April 15.
    • This penalty also applies if you owe taxes, filed an extension, but didn’t file your return by October 15.
    • The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.
    • Tip: The late filing penalty is 10 times higher than the late payment penalty. If you can’t pay your tax bill and didn’t file an extension, at least file your return as soon as possible! You can always amend it later.
  • late payment penalty applies if you didn’t pay additional taxes owed by April 15, whether you filed an extension or not.
    • The late payment penalty is 0.5% (1/2 of 1 percent) of the additional tax owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) the owed tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%.

Example: Let’s say you didn’t file your return or extension by April 15, and you still owe the IRS an additional $1,000.

Best-case scenario: You file your return on April 29, 2 weeks late, and submit your payment for $1,000. You would owe an additional $50 for filing late ($1,000 x .05) plus another $5 for late payment ($1,000 x .005) for a total penalty of $55.

(Had you filed your extension by the deadline, your total penalty would only be $5. It pays to file an extension!)

Worst-case scenario: You file your 2012 return in April of 2018, 5 years late, and submit your payment for $1,000. You would owe an additional $250 for filing late ($1,000 x the maximum .25) plus another $250 for late payment ($1,000 x the maximum .25), for a total penalty of $500.

What happens if I do not file, period?

You’ll probably receive a letter from the IRS reminding you to file your tax return, particularly if W-2 or 1099 forms were reported to the IRS by your employers. For additional information, refer to the IRS article What Will Happen If You Don’t File Your Past Due Return or Contact The IRS.

If you are due a refund, you’ll forfeit your refund if you do not file by April 15, 2016 (or October 15 of 2016 if you filed an extension).

Self-Employed?

You must file returns reporting your self-employment income within three years of the original filing deadline in order to receive Social Security credits toward your retirement. Don’t lose your Social Security benefits by not filing!

Are there any situations which allow me to file late?

Filing late return with IRSyou are out of the country on the April filing deadline, you are allowed two extra months (June 17, 2013) to file your return and pay the amount due, without needing to request an extension.

You’re considered out of the country if:

  • You live outside of the United States or Puerto Rico and your main place of work is outside of the United States or Puerto Rico; or
  • You are in military or naval service outside of the United States or Puerto Rico.

If you still need more time after the automatic June 17 deadline, you can request four additional months by filing an extension along with paying any taxes you owe.

Other Special Situations

  • Residents of Suffolk County, Massachusetts have until July 15, 2013 to file their 2012 returns and pay taxes due. More info
  • Taxpayers living in the Midwest or South who were unable to file their 2012 returns on time because of severe weather around the April 15 deadline may qualify for late filing without penalty. More info

The deadline for filing your 2009 Income Tax Refund is steadily approaching.

The IRS deadline for claiming 2009 Income Tax refund checks is April 15th, 2013. You will need to paper file your return by April 15th to claim your 2009 refund checks. This is for federal income tax refunds only.

2009 Income Tax Refund

“Refunds totaling just over $917 million may be waiting for an estimated 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. However, to collect the money, a return for 2009 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 15, 2013.”

“By failing to file a return, people stand to lose more than refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2009. In addition, many low-and-moderate income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2009, the credit is worth as much as $5,657. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds.”

More details available at the IRS website. If you need assistance filing your 2009 Income Tax Return, contact Hot Springs Tax Services for help.