Electronic tax

E-filing can prevent tax season headaches

Despite well-known budgeting and staffing issues at the Internal Revenue Service, the beleaguered agency is making relatively good progress in processing this year’s tax returns.

The taxman has declared that it has so far received approximately fifty-five million personal tax returns and processed more than fifty-three million. As for very large tax refunds, the agency said it issued nearly thirty-eight million payments for a total of nearly $130 billion, or an average refund of $3,401.

Although this tax season has been far from the total disaster that some experts predicted, it has not been easy on every level. There are still many reports of taxpayers awaiting tax refunds from this year and Last yearand the chances of having a representative on a Tax phone line fixing all the problems is slim.

Twenty million delayed returns

“The IRS itself has projected that nearly 21 million electronically filed returns could be delayed this tax season due to discrepancies related to Congressional changes to refundable child and dependent credits,” notes Janet Novack, personal finance writer at Forbes.

“This is in addition to millions of other returns that will be kicked out of the normal IRS computer processing stream for some other reason, such as a suspected case of identity theft or fraud, social security number that does not match its records or a mismatch related to economic impact payments of $1,400 per person in 2021, i.e. stimulus checks.

Citing information from Nina E. Olson, tax attorney and founder of the Center for Taxpayer Rights, Novack goes on to mention the shortcomings of the much publicized “Where’s My Refund?” from the IRS. application.

“This service may tell you that your return has been received, or that your refund has been approved, or that a refund has been sent,” she wrote.

“But that won’t tell you anything useful between the receiving phase and the approval phase,” Olson warns. It won’t tell you, for example, that your return was excluded from normal processing for a certain discrepancy,” she continues, adding that a survey last year found that only 24% of app users found the app useful.

Always E-File

Olson argued that filing electronically is still the best option even if filing requires a letter of explanation for a certain issue. “Who knows when a paper return is going to be processed?” she said. Forbes. When finally processed, the IRS may find a mathematical error adjustment or similar issue and require the return to be resubmitted.

Olson concludes by saying that with e-filing, a taxpayer can more quickly receive a portion of their refund that the IRS agrees with, and they will also have the ability to dispute any issues with the agency more quickly.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington State-based science and technology editor who has held positions at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow him or contact him on LinkedIn.

Picture: Reuters.