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Serving Bullitt and Jefferson counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties in Southern Indiana.

IRSTax Tip Number 2018-95

Dos and Don’ts for Taxpayers Who Get a Letter from the IRS

Every year the IRS mails millions of letters to taxpayers for many reasons. Here are some tips and suggestions for taxpayers who receive one:

Don’t ignore it. Most IRS letters and notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice deals with a specific issue and includes specific instructions on what to do.

Don’t panic. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies do send letters by mail. Most of the time all the taxpayer needs to do is read the letter carefully and take the appropriate action. 

Do take timely action. A notice may reference changes to a taxpayer’s account, taxes owed, a payment request or a specific issue on a tax return. Taking action timely could minimize additional interest and penalty charges.

Do review the information. If a letter is about a changed or corrected tax return, the taxpayer should review the information and compare it with the original return. If the taxpayer agrees, they should make notes about the corrections on their personal copy of the tax return, and keep it for their records.

Don’t reply unless instructed to do so. There is usually no need for a taxpayer to reply to a notice unless specifically instructed to do so. On the other hand, taxpayers who owe should reply with a payment. IRS.gov has information about payment options.

Do respond to a disputed notice. If a taxpayer does not agree with the IRS, they should mail a letter explaining why they dispute the notice. They should mail it to the address on the contact stub at the bottom of the notice. The taxpayer should include information and documents for the IRS to review when considering the dispute. The taxpayer should allow at least 30 days for the IRS to respond.

Do remember that there is usually no need to call the IRS. If a taxpayer must contact the IRS by phone, they should use the number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. The taxpayer should have a copy of the tax return and letter when calling.

Do avoid scams. The IRS will never initiate contact using social media or text message. The first contact from the IRS usually comes in the mail. Taxpayers who are unsure if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on IRS.gov.

 

Tax Tip 2018-73

Tips for Taxpayers Who Missed the April Filing Deadline

While the federal income tax-filing deadline has come and gone for most people, some taxpayers still haven’t filed or paid their taxes.

Here are some tips for handling common issues after the filing deadline has passed:

  • Anyone who didn’t file and owes tax should file a return as soon as possible and pay as much as possible to reduce penalties and interest. There’s no penalty for filing a late return if a refund is due. Penaltiesand interest only accrue on unfiled returns of taxpayers who don’t pay by the deadline.
  • For those who qualify, IRS Free File is still available on IRS.gov through October 15 to prepare and file returns electronically.
  • Filing soon is especially important because the late-filing penalty on unpaid taxes adds up quickly. Alternatively, taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time sometimes qualify for penalty relief.
  • Taxpayers who owe taxes can view their balance, and pay with IRS Direct Pay, or by debit or credit card. They can also apply online for a payment plan, including an installment agreement. Before accessing their tax account online, users must authenticate their identity through the Secure Access process. Several other electronic payment options are available on IRS.gov/payments.
  • The IRS will usually correct any math errors on a return and notify the taxpayer by mail. Similarly, the agency will send a letter requesting any missing forms or schedules.

Tax Tip 2018-72

Help Available at IRS.gov for Taxpayers Who Filed an Extension

Millions of taxpayers filed an extension this year, and they have until October 15to file their taxes. Taxpayers who filed an extension can visit IRS.gov for quick access to helpful tax information and tools that can help them between now and October:

  • Use IRS Free File. Prepare and e-file federal taxes free with IRS Free File. Taxpayers with income of $66,000 or less can file using free brand-name tax software. Those who earned more can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Either way, everyone has a free e-file option, and the only way to access Free File is on IRS.gov.
  • Find Out How to File Tax Returns Electronically. IRS e-file, which includes Free File, is the easiest, safest and most popular way to file a complete and accurate tax return. The fastest way to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit. On IRS.gov, taxpayers can find software options to e-file their own taxes or find an authorized e-file provider.
  • Get Answers to Tax Questions. The Interactive Tax Assistant tooland the IRS Tax Map answer many tax-law questions. Many IRS tools and products are also available in other languages, including Spanish.
  • Find a Tax Preparer. Taxpayers can use the Directory of Tax Return Preparers tool to find a list of tax preparers near them. Taxpayers can search based on the credentials and qualifications they want their preparer to have.
  • Check on a Refund. Track a refund using Whereメs My Refund? It’s quick, easy and secure. Taxpayers can check the status of their refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received the e-filed return. Those who file a paper return can check the refund status four weeks after mailing it. Once the IRS approves a refund, the tool will give a date to expect it. The IRS updates refund status for the tool once a day.
  • Pay Taxes Online. Taxpayers will find information about the different ways they can pay their taxes. This includes electronic funds withdrawal, payment by debit or credit card, and IRS Direct Pay.
  • Use the EITC Assistant. Taxpayers who worked and earned less than $53,930 in 2017 may be eligible for the earned income tax credit. Taxpayers can use the EITC Assistant tool to see if they qualify.
  • View Account Information.  Taxpayers can go to IRS.gov/account to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, pay online or set up an online payment agreement; access their tax records online; review the past 18 months of payment history; and view key tax return information for the current year as filed. Visit IRS.gov/secureaccess to review the required identity authentication process.
  • The IRS reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their adjusted gross income amount from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

IRS   Tax Tip 2018-63

Tips for Taxpayers Who Have to Amend a Tax Return

Taxpayers who discover they made mistakes or omissions on their tax return can correct them by filing an amended tax return. Those who need to amend should remember these tips:

  • File using paper form. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct the tax return. Taxpayers can’t file amended returns electronically. They can obtain the form on IRS.gov/forms. Mail the Form 1040X to the address listed in the form’s instructions
  • Amend to correct errors. File an amended tax return to correct errors or make changes to an original tax return; for example, taxpayers should amend to change their filing status or to correct their income, deductions or credits.  
  • Don’t amend for math errors, missing forms. Taxpayers generally don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors on their original return. The IRS will automatically correct these items. In addition, taxpayers don’t need to file an amended return if they forgot to attach tax forms, such as a Form W-2 or a schedule. The IRS will mail a request to the taxpayer, if needed.  
  • File within three-year time limit. Taxpayers usually have three years from the date they filed the original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. Taxpayers can file it within two years from the date they paid the tax, if that date is later.
  • Use separate forms for each year. Taxpayers who are amending more than one tax return must file a Form 1040X for each tax year. They should mail each year’s Form 1040X in separate envelopes to avoid confusion. Taxpayers should check the box for the calendar year or enter the other calendar year or fiscal year they are amending. The form’s instructions have the mailing address for the amended return.  
  • Attach other forms with changes. Taxpayers who use other IRS forms or schedules to make changes must attach them to the Form 1040X.   
  • Wait to file for corrected refund for tax year 2017. Taxpayers who are due refunds from their original tax year 2017 return should wait to get it before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns may take up to 16 weeks to process.  
  • Pay additional tax. Taxpayers who will owe more tax should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest. They should consider using IRS Direct Pay to pay any tax directly from a checking or savings account at no cost. 
  • Track amended return. Generally, taxpayers can track the status of their amended tax return three weeks after they file, using ‘Whereメs My Amended Return?’ It’s available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian. The tool can track the status of an amended return for the current year and up to three previous years. Taxpayers who have filed amended returns for multiple years can check each year, one at a time.

 

Tax-Aide is looking for Volunteers

We are looking for compassionate and friendly individuals to join our volunteer team. Training is provided as well as support to help you learn new skills, and you will get a great feeling from helping those in need.

Volunteers fill a variety of roles:

Counselors work with taxpayers directly by filling out tax returns.  If you have no previous experience, you’ll get the training you need and will also receive IRS certification.

Client Facilitators welcome taxpayers, help organize their paper work, and manage the overall flow of service.

Technology Coordinators manage computer equipment, ensure taxpayer data is secure, and provide technical assistance to volunteers.

Leadership and Administrative volunteers make sure program operations run smoothly, manage volunteers, and maintain quality control.

Speak a second language? Bilingual speakers are needed in all roles, especially dedicated interpreters who can assist other volunteers.

Introductory and review training is provided for all volunteers beginning in November.  Detailed face-to-face classes will meet in January. All tests are “open book”. Much of the training is available “on line ” so internet access is needed by all volunteers.

Those interested in learning more can find general information at www.aarp-tax-aide-lou.org, via phone 502-394-3443 or via email to LouTaxAide@gmail.com. Persons outside the Louisville Metro area will be referred to their nearest District Coordinator.

NEED HELP?

Tax-Aide offices are open February 1 - April 15.  Tax-Aide does not have copies of your return – see below for further information.

For assistance in the interim, please contact your local IRS or State Department of Revenue office.  Their address and phone numbers are listed in the blue pages of the phone book.

Taxpayer Advocate Service operates independently of all other IRS Offices and reports directly to Congress. It protects taxpayers’ rights and ensures that all taxpayers are treated fairly, and that they know and understand their rights under the IRS’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  For additional information, go to taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or contact the Louisville office at 502-912-5050 or 877-777-4778.


Where’s my KY Refund?

If several weeks have passed since you filed your KY return and you haven’t received your refund, you can check about the status in any of three ways:

www.revenue.ky.gov

(502) 564-1600 (Automated Line)

(502) 564-4581 (Live Representative)

You will need you Social Security number and the exact amount of the refund.


Copies of Prior Year Returns

Back copies of previously-filed tax returns and all attachments, including Forms W-2, can be requested by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return.  Alternatively, transcripts showing most line items on these returns can be ordered on-line, by calling 1-800-908-9946 or by using Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript  or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return


Like To Volunteer?

To learn more about volunteering with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, check out the rest of the web site and then register on the “Contacts” tab. Most volunteers are involved for only the 10-11 week tax season each year – a great short-term commitment!

You may prefer to call 502-394-3443 or e-mail loutaxaide@gmail.com.  Your contact will then be referred to the District Coordinator in your area of KY or Southern Indiana.  Out of state inquiries will be forwarded to the appropriate state leaders for further contact and information.

 

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