Smooth sailing: Tips to speed processing and avoid hassles this tax season



The IRS began accepting 2021 individual tax returns on January 24. If you haven’t prepared yet for tax season, here are three quick tips to help speed processing and avoid hassles.


Tip 1.

Please provide our office with your tax documents as soon as you are sure you have all of them for this tax year. You may upload your information to our portal system, drop off or mail them to our office. Please connect with us to schedule a meeting if you prefer one. We can schedule a virtual, phone or in person tax meeting. We are reserving in person appointments to clients with significant changes from 2020 or events that are out of the ordinary.


Tip 2.

Gather all documents needed to prepare an accurate return. This includes W-2 and 1099 forms. In addition, you may have received statements or letters in connection with Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) or advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments.


Letter 6419, 2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit Payments, tells taxpayers who received CTC payments and how much they received. Since the advance payments represented about one-half of the total credit, taxpayers who received CTC payments need to file a return to collect the rest of the credit.


Letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, tells taxpayers who received an EIP in 2021 and the amount of that payment. Taxpayers need to know the amount to determine if they can claim an additional amount on their tax returns. Taxpayers who received an EIP or CTC payments must include that information on their returns. Failure to include this information, according to the IRS, means a return is incomplete and will require additional processing, which may delay any refund owed to the taxpayer.


Tip 3.

Check certain information on your prepared return. Each Social Security number on your tax return should appear exactly as printed on the Social Security card(s). Likewise, make sure that names aren’t misspelled. If you’re receiving your refund by direct deposit, check the bank account number.


Failure to file or pay on time

What if you don’t file on time or can’t pay your tax bill? Separate penalties apply for failing to pay and failing to file. The penalties imposed are a percentage of the taxes you didn’t pay or didn’t pay on time. If you obtain an extension for the filing due date (until October 17), you aren’t filing late unless you miss the extended due date. However, a filing extension doesn’t apply to your responsibility for payment. If you obtain an extension, you’re required to pay an estimate of any owed taxes by the regular deadline to avoid possible penalties. The penalties for failing to file and failing to pay can be quite severe. (They may be excused by the IRS if your lateness is due to “reasonable cause,” such as illness or a death in the family.) Contact us for questions or concerns about how to proceed in your situation. © 2022