Refund Feed

Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash In 2019, the Internal Revenue Service received nearly 156 million tax returns. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the number of 1040s filed hit 169.7 million. The increase continued in 2021 with the IRS receiving 169.1 million returns, and into 2022, when 164.3 returns were sent to the tax agency. The main reason for the 2020-2022 filing spikes was the coronavirus-related financial help — economic impact payments and increased advance Child Tax Credit amounts — that the IRS was tasked with delivering. Many, OK most, of those millions who hadn't filed before 2020... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell The Internal Revenue Service won't start processing 2022 tax year returns until Jan. 23, but you can file before then. A lot of folks are doing just that. The most common and obvious motive for filing early is to get the refund you're expecting. But there are some other reasons you might want to get your return to the IRS as soon as possible. 1. To beat tax ID thieves to the punch. The IRS and its Security Summit partners have made good progress in recent years in reducing tax identity theft and refund fraud. One... Read more →


Unemployment benefits can be a godsend when you lose your job. They also can be a god-awful problem at tax time. That money you get to help tide you over until you find another job is taxable income. In certain situations, however, lawmakers have provided unemployment compensation, or UC (and yes, that's its official name, so the compensation moniker explains the taxing), have exempted some of the government money from federal tax. COVID UC exemption: That was the case during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extraordinary circumstances of so many people losing their jobs at the same time... Read more →


Money troubles lead some taxpayers to refund anticipation loans. If you're not careful, it could make finances worse. When the Internal Revenue Service officially opens the 2023 tax filing season, which is expected to be at near the end of the month (it was Jan. 24 last year), it will process e-filed 1040s first. Those returns' electronic data automatically goes into the IRS processing system. That means, says the agency, most of those early filers should get their refunds within 21 days. But what if you just can't wait three weeks for the tax cash? Or you know your refund... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska The Internal Revenue Service is making progress on its documents backlog, which started in 2020 with COVID-19 pandemic office closures and snowballed. But it's not there yet. That's distressing news for taxpayers and their tax pros who've been waiting for accounts to be brought up to date. But there's a tiny silver lining for those whose refunds are among the still-stalled IRS stack. Inflation has pushed up the interest rate that the IRS will pay on refunds that take longer than 45 days to process and issue. More interest on overdue refunds: IRS interest rates are... Read more →


Some taxpayers might not be this happy in 2023 with their federal tax refund. (Image via Giphy) Many folks are already eagerly anticipating the 2023 tax filing season because they expect to get a refund from Uncle Sam. They might be disappointed. In a recent news release encouraging taxpayers to get ready for the upcoming filing season, the Internal Revenue Service slipped in this warning: Refunds may be smaller in 2023. There are three tax issues in 2022 that contribute to why the IRS will be sending some taxpayers smaller refunds when they file next year. No extra coronavirus funds:... Read more →


What better topic for Thanksgiving than tax turkeys and how to avoid them. Our first tax turkey, represented by this solo strutting showy bird, is incorrect withholding. (Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash) Thanksgiving, a time of gathering with family you haven't seen for a while. But sometimes, even when we get along with our relatives, we need a break from all that familial reconnecting. You could take a walk. Or check out a calming app. Or take care of a tax task. To help with that third suggestion, the rest of this Thanksgiving week (and weekend) the ol' blog... Read more →


Updated Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 You still have time to electronically claim the benefits, but not much. The deadline to e-file is Thursday, Nov. 17. If you missed out on the special COVID-19 relief payments, notably the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC), then head to the Internal Revenue Service's Free File website. The IRS is keeping Free File operating through Nov. 17 so eligible nonfilers can e-file a Form 1040 to claim their eligible COVID benefits at, as the name says, no cost. In addition to the CTC, eligible taxpayers may be able to claim some or all of the... Read more →


Tyle Perry working on one of his many productions. (Facebook photo) Most of us would celebrate getting a $9 million refund from the Internal Revenue Service. But then, most of us aren't billionaire media mogul and philanthropist Tyler Perry. When an IRS audit resulted in Uncle Sam handing over the multimillions, Perry fired his accounting team. "I'll let you make a million mistakes, but you can't do the same thing over and over again. That's how I run my business. Here's the mistake. Let's fix it; let's move forward," Perry told the audience at a recent Earn Your Leisure Conference.... Read more →


Texas National Guard at Texas-Mexico border as part of Operation Lone Star. (Image via Texas Military Department Facebook page) Military personnel face lots of challenges. One unexpected one for some Texas troops is the Internal Revenue Service. Texas National Guard members deployed to the Texas-Mexico border as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in unexpected federal taxes, according to a report by the Texas Tribune. The problem is a payroll error made by state officials. Incorrect withholding by employer: The Tribune story says the payroll system used by... Read more →


UPDATE, Oct. 6, 2022: North and South Carolina, which were hit when Ian made a second U.S. landfall after devastating southwest Florida, now also get until Feb. 15, 2023, to meet various tax deadlines. More in my Carolinas/Ian follow-up post. This image from the NASA/Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) was taken about three hours before Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 in Cayo Costa, Florida. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and roads from OpenStreetMap.... Read more →


Photo by Alexander Mils So far this year, 17 states have or will issue rebate money to their residents. Massachusetts is about to up that list count to 18, thanks to a 1986 state law. The Bay State's Department of Revenue this summer reported a fiscal-year-end tax revenue surplus of nearly $3 billion. Once the state auditor certifies the amount, which at the last unofficial count was $2.941 billion, the tax cap law known as Chapter 62F takes effect. The payback law, a referendum approved 36 years ago by Massachusetts voters, requires the state rebate its taxpayers a percentage of... Read more →


Huell (right) and Patrick, henchmen for AMC's "criminal" criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, take a short break in a Breaking Bad episode to enjoy the comfort of a huge pile of ill-gotten cash. (Photo courtesy AMC TV) Remember earlier this summer when a South American worker got a paycheck of more than $165 million Chilean pesos, or nearly $184,000 in U.S. dollars? It was a mistake. And while the man reported the overpayment to his supervisors, he also decided to take the money and run. As far as I can tell by surfing the Google machine, the guy's still out there... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service says it has made progress this summer in reducing its COVID-created paperwork backlog. In fact, it has caught up on last year's stacked up filings that didn't have issues. "The IRS is opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual returns received prior to January 2022 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review," according to an update today, Sept. 2, on the agency's webpage that tracks its operations during the pandemic. Making progress on 2022, too: As for returns filed this year, the IRS says... Read more →


Taxes and COVID-19 have been inextricably linked since the coronavirus reached the United States in 2020. Several federal relief packages were enacted, with the Internal Revenue Service given the task of distributing the payments. The agency had mixed success with this added responsibility. Then there was the backlog of filings that resulted from COVID-related IRS office closures. This was, by all accounts, an unmitigated disaster. The agency is still digging out of its coronavirus paperwork accumulation, and taxpayers are still dealing with problems created when automatic nonpayment penalty notices were issued. Now the IRS is trying to make that somewhat... Read more →


Slow and steady is finally paying off for the Internal Revenue Service and taxpayers who've been waiting for their returns to be processed and associated refunds issued. The IRS announced today (June 21) that by the end of this week, it should be finished with original 1040 forms filed in 2021. That will take care of the remaining 8 million tax returns that were filed last year, but which had stacked up behind earlier COVID created office closure protocols. More importantly to individual taxpayers awaiting refunds, that long-awaited money should soon be in their hands. At it will include some... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service says that it is "opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual refund returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review." That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that as of May 14, the IRS also reports on its mission-critical web page that "we had 9.8 million unprocessed individual returns which include returns received before 2022." But the agency also has a bit more good news if you're still waiting on a refund based on your tax year 2021... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska Interest payments are a part of almost every person's life. If you carry a credit card balance, you pay interest on it. If you have a mortgage, interest is probably the largest (but, for now, still tax-deductible) part of your monthly payment. And if you don't pay all the federal tax you owe on time, interest adds to you total U.S. Treasury bill. But with taxes, the reverse also is true. When the Internal Revenue Service is slow in getting your overpayment processed, your refund will include interest payments to you. And right now, due to... Read more →


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels It's been a week since Tax Day 2022. Those who submitted tax returns have been enjoying being done with the Internal Revenue Service for another year. But maybe it's time to give Uncle Sam's tax collector a little more thought. Here are 5 tax matters to consider so that you can completely clear your 2021 tax year decks. 1. Review your payroll withholding: The IRS reminds us every year that most taxpayers get refunds. That's because a lot of filers plan it that way. They overwithhold taxes from their paychecks as a forced savings account.... Read more →


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels Millions of taxpayers and buckling down to complete their 2021 tax returns by April 18. Some, however, might want to also mark April 9 on their calendars. It's the third Saturday in this filing season where certain Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Assistance Centers will be open. That day, 40 IRS TACs in 24 states, as well as offices in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will be open for in-person guidance. Normally, TACs are only open by appointment on weekdays. But on Saturday, April 9, taxpayers don't have to make an appointment. TAC... Read more →