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If you watch the daily news, you may have heard that the IRS is understaffed and they plan to be way behind during this year's tax season. Calling the IRS office with questions can take up most of your day.
So, direct from the IRS, this is a guide to help you find answers to most tax return questions. You can also contact GLM and one of our accountants can also answer you.
As people get ready to file their 2021 tax return, the IRS reminds taxpayers they can find answers to their tax questions from the comfort of home using IRS online tools and resources. These IRS.gov tools are easy to use and available anytime.
• Choosing a preparer. The IRS has several options for finding a tax preparer. One resource is Choosing a Tax Professional, which offers a wealth of information for selecting a tax professional. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS or who have an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.
• Interactive tax assistant. This tool has answers a variety of tax questions. It can also help a taxpayer determine if a type of income is taxable. Many people experienced changes to income and other life events in 2021. This tool can help them find tax credits and deductions.
Taxpayers may qualify for the child tax credit and child and dependent care credit. Those who are not eligible for the child tax credit might be able to claim the credit for other dependents. Individuals paying higher education costs for themselves, a spouse or a dependent, may be eligible to save some money with education tax credits or deductions. Additionally, low-to moderate-income taxpayers may qualify for the earned income tax credit.
• Getting banked and setting up direct deposit. Direct deposit gives taxpayers access to their refund faster than a paper check. Those without a bank account can learn how to open an account at an FDIC-insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator tool. Veterans should see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks.
• Setting up or reviewing IRS Online Account The IRS encourages taxpayers who have not set up an Online Account yet should do so soon. People who have already set up an Online Account should make sure they can still log in successfully. Taxpayers can use Online Account to securely access the latest available information about their federal tax account.
• Paying a tax bill. The IRS offers several ways for taxpayers to pay their taxes including online, by phone or through the IRS2Go app. Direct Pay is free and a safe way to pay taxes or estimated tax directly from a checking or savings account. Direct Pay has five simple steps to pay in a single online session and is also available with the IRS2Go mobile app.
Publication 5348, Get Ready to File
Publication 5349, Year-Round Tax Planning is for Everyone
There are steps people, including those who received stimulus payments or advance child tax credit payments, can take now to make sure their tax filing experience goes smoothly in 2022. They can start by visiting the Get Ready page on IRS.gov. Here are some other things they should do to prepare to file their tax return.
Gather and organize tax records
Organized tax records make preparing a complete and accurate tax return easier. They help avoid errors that lead to processing delays that slow refunds. Having all needed documents on hand before taxpayers prepare their return helps them file it completely and accurately. This includes:
Taxpayers should also gather any documents from these types of earnings. People should keep copies of tax returns and all supporting documents for at least three years.
Income documents can help taxpayers determine if they're eligible for deductions or credits. People who need to reconcile their advance payments of the child tax credit and premium tax credit will need their related 2021 information. Those who did not receive their full third Economic Impact Payments will need their third payment amounts to figure and claim the 2021 recovery rebate credit.
Taxpayers should also keep end of year documents including:
Confirm mailing and email addresses and report name changes
To make sure forms make it to the them on time, taxpayers should confirm now that each employer, bank and other payer has their current mailing address or email address. People can report address changes by completing Form 8822, Change of Address and sending it to the IRS. Taxpayers should also notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com or their local post office. They should also notify the Social Security Administration of a legal name change.
View account information online
Individuals who have not set up an Online Account yet should do so soon. People who have already set up an Online Account should make sure they can still log in successfully. Taxpayers can use Online Account to securely access the latest available information about their federal tax account.
Review proper tax withholding and make adjustments if needed
Taxpayers may want to consider adjusting their withholding if they owed taxes or received a large refund in 2021. Changing withholding can help avoid a tax bill or let individuals keep more money each payday. Life changes – getting married or divorced, welcoming a child or taking on a second job – may also be reasons to change withholding. Taxpayers might think about completing a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Certificate, each year and when personal or financial situations change.
People also need to consider estimated tax payments. Individuals who receive a substantial amount of non-wage income like self-employment income, investment income, taxable Social Security benefits and in some instances, pension and annuity income should make quarterly estimated tax payments. The last payment for 2021 is due on Jan. 18, 2022.
Below is taken directly from the IRS.
It’s the time of the year when many taxpayers choose a tax preparer to help file a tax return. These taxpayers should choose their tax return preparer wisely. This is because taxpayers are responsible for all the information on their income tax return. That’s true no matter who prepares the return.
Once you have done your homework, make sure you give GLM an opportunity to help you. Learn More
Here are ten tips for taxpayers to remember when selecting a preparer:
Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS. Most tax return preparers are honest and provide great service to their clients. However, some preparers are dishonest. Report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If a taxpayer suspects a tax preparer filed or changed their return without the taxpayer’s consent, they should file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit.
Again, once you have done your homework, make sure you give GLM an opportunity to help you. Learn More
In true blog fashion, the last parts are at the top of the page. Scroll all the way down and work your way back up to read them in order.
Tom is the Business Development Manager for GLM. If you are interested in learning more about GLM's services, contact him: