Tax season is over - now what?

So the April 15 deadline has come and gone. Are you still thinking about taxes?

Tax Season is over – now what?

So the April 15 deadline has come and gone.  Are you still thinking about taxes?  Many taxpayers aren’t quite done with the 2013 tax year, and this blog post will cover different situations that may affect them.  You may be able to handle these situations on your own, but know that an Enrolled Agent has tackled all of these problems, and more.  So if you feel overwhelmed, it’s time to hire a professional.

ž   I haven’t received my refund!

  • If you e-filed your return and requested direct deposit of your refund, the IRS states that it should come within 21 days (although my clients reported receiving theirs in about 1 week).  If you requested a paper check, it should arrive within 6 weeks. 

  • If these time periods have passed and you haven’t received your refund, use the IRS’s handy “Where’s My Refund” tool at  

ž   I haven’t filed my 2013 (or previous year) return!

  • If you haven’t filed your 2013 and you are due a refund – do not worry!  The IRS does not assess late-filing penalties to returns that are due refunds.  It is in your best interest to file your return, however.  The sooner you file, the sooner you will have that money in your pocket.  And you only have 3 years to collect your refund (you have until 4/15/2017 to file for your 2013 refund).

  • If you haven’t filed and you will owe, now is the time to act.  Each day that passes increases your failure-to-file penalty.  That penalty is in addition to your failure-to-pay penalty and interest.  Even if you can’t pay in full right away, minimize your penalties by filing as soon as possible.

ž   I received another W2 after I filed!  Or I found a mistake on my return!

  • File an amendment (1040x).  It is best to file the amendment as soon as you discover the error.  If you are due an additional refund, the IRS will process your amendment and send you a check, which may take several months.  If you have an additional balance due, try to pay it as soon as possible.  If it is paid after April 15, there will be failure-to-pay penalties and interest on that amount.

  • Remember to also file a state amendment if the change affects your state return.

ž   I filed on time, but I am not able to pay the balance due!

  • First off, do not panic.  Do not hide.  Do not move to Timbuktu. 

  • Any balance that is not paid by April 15 is subject to penalties and interest.  So pay as much as you can right away. 

  • If you think you can pay the entire balance within 120 days, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and let them know.

  • If you cannot pay within 120 days, apply for an Installment Agreement (form 9465, or apply online at  Note that there is a fee for setting up the plan.

  • Alternately, it might be less expensive for you over the long-term to pay with a credit card or a bank loan. 

ž   I received a scary letter from the IRS!

  • The IRS automatically sends out many notices when their records do not match up with your tax return.  The letters can be intimidating and difficult to understand.  But if you take a deep breath and read the letter slowly, you should be able to understand what they are asking.  Usually they require a response from the taxpayer, often including documentation or explanation of an item on the tax return.  Respond within the time frame allotted.

  • There is a possibility that your return was selected for audit.  Now it’s time to find an Enrolled Agent to represent you.  The professional who prepared your return is the best person to start with, although any Enrolled Agent will be able to help.

Although it might seem like 2013 is long gone, many taxpayers haven’t quite said their final goodbyes.  And before long, it will be time to start looking at your 2014 tax situation!  Good luck!