Tips for troubleshooting common after-tax-day issues

May 24, 2021

IRS

While the deadline to file and pay federal income taxes has passed for most people, some taxpayers may still be dealing with tax-related issues.

Here are some tips for taxpayers handling some of the most common after-tax-day issues.

Check refund status
Taxpayers can check on their refund using the Where's My Refund? tool. It is available on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers without access to a computer can call 800-829-1954. To use this tool, taxpayers need their Social Security number, tax filing status and the exact amount of the refund claimed on their tax return. The tool updates once daily, so there's no need to check more often.

Check withholding
All taxpayers are encouraged to check their withholding using the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov. This will help them make sure their employers are withholding the right amount of tax from their paychecks. Doing this now will help avoid an unexpected amount due and possibly a penalty when they prepare and file their taxes next year.

Taxpayers can use the results from the Estimator to help complete a new Form W-4 and adjust their income tax withholding with their employer. Taxpayers who receive pension income can use the results to complete a Form W-4P and submit to their payer.

Review payment options
Taxpayers who owe taxes can review all payment options online. These include: Carefully consider if they need to amend a tax return
After filing their tax return, taxpayers may find they made an error or forgot to enter something on it. The IRS strongly recommends taxpayers use the Interactive Tax Assistant, Should I File an Amended Return? to help determine if they should correct an error or make other changes to the tax return they already filed.

Common errors taxpayers should fix are those made about filing status, income, deductions and credits. Taxpayers usually do not need to file an amended return to fix a math error or if they forgot to attach a form or schedule. Normally, the IRS will correct the math error and notify the taxpayer by mail. Similarly, the agency will send a letter requesting any missing forms or schedules.

Those expecting a refund from their original return should not file an amended return before the original return has been processed.

Currently, it is taking the IRS longer to process mailed documents including paper tax returns and all tax return related correspondence. It is taking the agency more than 21 days to issue refunds for some 2020 tax returns that require review including incorrect recovery rebate credit amounts or returns that used 2019 income to figure the earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit.
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