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The Internal Revenue Service announced that they plan to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income returns on January 30th. Due to the late tax law changes enacted on January 2, this announcement means that the IRS will begin accepting e-filed tax returns for the vast majority of U.S. tax filers on January 30th. [Read More...]
TaxSlayer.com continues to make every effort to keep you informed on important tax topics. The number of customers who file their tax returns using an IRS supplied ITIN continue to grow. Many taxpayers in similar situations are subject to new requirements. On June 22, 2012 the IRS announced a first step in what is expected to be a wave of changes to the ITIN application process. These changes are currently in effect until the end of this year, although changes should carry over and be expanded on for the 2012 filing season. The IRS anticipates that very few people should require ITINs between now and the end of the year. The new requirements will affect most of those applicants that submit the ITIN application, or form W-7. In most cases this form is submitted along with a 1040 tax return. These interim changes go into effect immediately. The IRS will monitor feedback from this campaign and make final decisions on how to proceed before 2013. These changes are being made in an effort to protect the integrity of the system while minimizing taxpayer impact. Effective immediately the IRS will only issue ITINs if the application meets the new requirements. Applications must now be accompanied by original supporting documentation or a certified copy FROM THE ISSUING AGENCY. For example, you must include original copies (or certified agency copies) such as passports and birth certificates when applying for an ITIN. In the past the IRS has accepted notarized copies of these documents when processing an ITIN request, this will no longer be the case. This required documentation can be submitted by mail or can be handed over at a local IRS office. If you choose to deliver the documents in person please know that they will be held and forwarded to the ITIN processing department. Per the IRS and their press release here, the following groups will not be subject to these changes. • Military spouses and dependents without an SSN who need an ITIN (Military spouses use box e on Form W-7 and dependents use box d). Exceptions to the new interim document standards will be made for military family members satisfying the documentation requirements by providing a copy of the spouse or parent’s U.S. military identification, or applying from an overseas APO/FPO address. • Nonresident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits (use boxes a and h on Form W-7). Non-resident alien applicants generally need ITINs for reasons besides filing a U.S. tax return. This is necessary for nonresident aliens who may be subject to third-party withholding for various income, such as certain gambling winnings or pension income, or need an ITIN for information reporting purposes. While existing documentation standards will be maintained only for these applicants, scrutiny of the documents will be heightened. ITIN applications of this category that are accompanied by a US tax return will be subject to the new interim document standards. Some taxpayers who have already begun the application process may be required to submit updated copies of documentation. The IRS will instigate contact if this is the case and no further action is required until that point. You cannot file your W7 along with a return prepared on TaxSlayer.com and filed electronically. You must print and mail the return along with the supporting documentation. If you have questions please contact our support team at email@example.com.
As a society we continue to progress further and further towards becoming completely digital. Once attributed to the likes of sci-fi and the jetsons, acts such as depositing checks via cell phone and voice controlled cars are becoming common place. Along with advances in the digital lifestyle have come advances in digital crime. Identity theft remains at the forefront of digital crime. While advances are being made on a daily basis to combat identity theft, the fact remains that the criminals got a significant head start. The IRS defines identity theft as when someone uses your personal information such as your name, SSN etc., without your permission, to commit crimes. In recent years we have seen more and more cases of personal information being used to file fraudulent tax returns. TaxSlayer.com has implemented a number of safeguards against fraudulent returns and monitor our system on a daily basis in an effort to detect any cases of fraud. In conjunction with IRs identifiers we are making significant progress against these criminals. With that being said fraud is always a possibility. You may not know that fraud has been committed until after the fact. In many cases these criminals will use your information to file a tax return as early as possible and will try to obtain a fraudulent tax return before you have even filed. Be alert to red flags such as IRS notices stating that more than one return has been filed, you have an unknown balance due from a year that you did not file, or the IRS shows wages from an unknown employer. If you feel that you are a victim of identity theft contact the IRS immediately to begin the process of combatting the fraud. If you believe that you are at risk you can also contact the IRS has have them implement special safeguards. Always remember that at TaxSlayer.com we are always here to help as well. Remember, it always pays to be cautious. TaxSlayer.com maintains the strictest standards for making sure that your information is never compromised within our system and that is our guarantee to you.
Many people often wonder what they need to do when they have received another tax document after filing their tax return. Do you let the IRS contact you or do you re-file your tax return? In most cases, you will need to file an amended tax return. An amended return is a revised tax return indicating that a change was made to the original tax return. You will need to file Form 1040-X and mail it into the IRS. The IRS does not allow electronic filing of an amended tax return. It generally takes 8 to 12 weeks to process an amended return. You will need to file an amended return with the IRS if you discover an error, change your filing status, add dependents, or if your income, deductions, or credits are incorrect. You will not need to file an amended return to correct math errors or if you left off certain schedules or forms. Generally, the IRS will automatically make corrections or send a request to you to submit left off schedules and forms. If the IRS owes you money from a prior tax year, you can’t delay in sending in your amended tax return. Generally, to claim a refund, you will need to file form 1040X within 3 years from the due date of your original return or within 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If you don’t, chances are you can kiss that refund goodbye! As a side note, in 2008, the IRS had $1 Billion in unclaimed tax refunds. Filing an amended return is the right thing to do if your return requires changes. Sometimes finding an extra document or taking another look at a past tax return can reveal some extra money for you.