TAS tax advice: be up to date on your federal taxes

Part of your mid-year tax audit should include seeing if you have any overdue tax returns and making sure you file them as soon as possible. If you’re not sure if you’re required to file a return, you can use the IRS Interactive Tax Wizard. Do I have to file a tax return? to help understand.

Even if you don’t have to deposit because you haven’t won enough silver, you may want to make a statement to avoid missing a refund. This could apply if federal income tax was withheld from your pay, if you made estimated tax payments for the year, if any of your overpayments from last year have been applied to this year’s estimated tax or if you are eligible for tax credits such as the Earned income tax credit. The only way to get your refund is to file a tax return.

There is still time to claim your Child tax credit. Also, if you were not eligible for a third Economic Impact Payment or if you received less than the full amount to which you were entitled, you may be eligible to claim the Salvage rebate credit. You must file a 2021 tax return to claim either credit.

Filing overdue tax returns is important for reasons other than the simple risk of losing a credit or refund, including:

  • Protect your social security benefits;
  • Avoid problems obtaining loans; and
  • Prevent the IRS from filing a substitute come back for you. This return may not give you credit for any deductions and exemptions you may be entitled to (which may require you to pay).

Be aware of the consequences if you do not file a tax return when you are required to.

Find the recordings you need

Create and/or log in to your personal account IRS online account to view, access and print:

  • Key data from your most recent tax return, including your adjusted gross income, as well as transcripts;
  • Information about your Economic Impact Payments and Child Tax Credit Advance Payments, including the amount you received; and
  • Digital copies of certain IRS notices.

Other ways to find records specifically related to:

Salary and income information – Complete Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Income Tax Returnand check the box on line 8. You can also contact your employer to obtain a copy of your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Return.

Economic Impact Payments / Recovery Rebate Credit – Exam Letter 6475, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payments, which the IRS issued to you earlier this year. Spouses filing a joint return for 2021 must know the payment amounts for both spouses in order to claim this credit.

Child tax credit advance paymentsReview Letter 6419, 2021 Child Tax Credit Total Advance Payments (AdvCTC)that the IRS issued to you earlier this year.

Earned income tax credit – You can request a account statement online using Get the transcript. You can use the EITC Wizard to see if you qualify, calculate how much you may be eligible for and find answers to questions about this credit.

Help preparing your overdue return

Tax forms) – Get the IRS online tax forms and instructions to file your overdue return, or order them by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Help with preparation – If you need help preparing your return, you may qualify for help from a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), or get free tax help from volunteers.

To note: LITCs can prepare returns if the due date for the return has already passed.

How to deposit

The IRS encourages you to file electronically through a tax professional, IRS Free File, free tax preparation sites, or commercial tax preparation software.

You can also send your return via Mail Where private delivery service, but be aware that processing can take 6 months or more. For more details on service delays, see Status of operations. If you need to file a tax return on paper, consider sending it by registered mail, with acknowledgment of receipt. This will be your proof of when you filed your tax return and when the IRS received it.

Have you submitted an extension for 2021?

If you have applied for an extension for 2021, the filing deadline is coming soon. This year, an extension gives you until October 17 to file your return. But you don’t have to wait; file electronically and if you need to be reimbursed, choose direct deposit once you have all your information together.

To note: IRS employees continue to work hard to process tax returns and resolve inventory issues, but are urging people to file electronically to avoid processing delays.

Do you need to correct a return already filed?

If you file your individual tax return and then realize you made a mistake, you can change your tax return. This usually involves depositing Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Personal Income Tax Return, to report changes to your income, deductions, or credits. You may also be able to make certain changes to your filing status.

Do you owe taxes that you cannot pay?

If you owe taxes and your tax return is late, you should file your tax return now to avoid further penalties if you don’t file it by the deadline. Again, you should file electronically if possible due to the IRS’ backlog in processing paper returns. See Status of operations.

If you can’t pay the full amount, pay what you can now to reduce the amount of penalties and interest that will continue to accrue, and consider IRS payment options, including an Offer in Compromise. Each option has different requirements and fees, so please review them carefully. Depending on your economic situation, you may be eligible to be placed in Currently Uncollectible status.

For more updates from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, visit the News and Information Center to read the latest tax tips, blogs, alerts and more.

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