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Tax brackets for singles in 2014

Written By: Doreen Martel

Those who are salaried employees, hourly employees and those who are self-employed know that as the year wraps up, tax time will soon descend upon them. Some preparation for the filing due in April of 2015 may be necessary, especially for those in very low or very high tax brackets. It is typically helpful to understand what the taxable rates are well before preparing an annual tax return.

Single filer tax brackets

Single taxpayers often have to face steeper taxes than their married counterparts. For the tax year ending in December of 2014, single taxpayers can expect the following tax brackets.

  • Earnings up to $9,075 – tax bracket is 10%
  • Earnings between $9,076 and $36,900 – tax bracket is 15%
  • Earnings between $36,901 and $89,350 – tax bracket is 25%
  • Earnings between $89,351 and $186,350 – tax bracket is 28%
  • Earnings between $136,351 and $398,350 – tax bracket is 33%
  • Earnings between $398,351 and $400,000 – tax bracket is 35%
  • Earnings over $400.001 – tax bracket is 39.6%

According to the Internal Revenue Service, a person who is married during 2014, even if it is the last day, has the legal right to file as married which can reduce their overall tax burden. 

Difference for head of household

The Internal Revenue Service allows a single person to qualify as a head of household if they are financially responsible for a “qualifying person.” Under the rules, qualifying persons are persons for whom the taxpayer may claim a deduction and can include:

  • Children – whether a person was married or not, if they maintained a home for at least six months out of the tax year and have a child they may qualify for head of household. This includes children born during the year (through December 31) provided the person may claim the child as a dependent. There is an important note to this as well: If a child has been kidnapped and remains missing for the entire year, they may still be claimed by the parent for tax purposes. 
  • Parents – if a child is caring for a parent and may claim that parent as a dependent provided they are paying for more than one-half of their upkeep. Support may include paying for nursing home care or other long-term care of the parent provided the parent is not filing their own tax return and/or can be claimed as a dependent on the return of another taxpayer.
  • Other – siblings, adopted children, foster children, grandparents, nieces and nephews and even in-laws can be considered a qualifying person provided the support requirements are met.

There is a significant difference in tax brackets for those filing head of household versus single. The income differences are:

  • Single person at a 10% tax bracket could earn a maximum of $9,075 while a head of household filer could earn $12,950
  • Single person at 15% tax bracket could earn a maximum of $36,900 while a head of household filer could earn $49,400 
  • Single person at 25% tax bracket could earn a maximum of $89,350 while a head of household filer could earn $127,550
  • Single person at 28% tax bracket could earn a maximum of $186,350 while a head of household filer could earn $206,600
  • Single person at 33% tax bracket could earn a maximum of $405,100 while a head of household filer could earn up to $405,100
  • Single person at 35% tax bracket could earn a maximum of $406,750 while a head of household filer could earn up to $432,200

During this year, there have been a number of changes to the tax code. In addition to potentially saving money by filing head of household, taxpayers should be certain they do not miss any important deductions or personal exemptions offered through the tax code. 

Tax brackets now and then

Written By: Martina James

The US tax code is an extensive and complex document with over 1 million words. However, the US tax code only includes the statutes that have been passed by Congress. Since the IRS is the appointed agency that has to set up the rules to implement the statutes that have been passed by Congress, the IRS tax code is an even more extensive document with about 4 million words and it is only getting longer each year. One of the most important rules contained in the tax code is the rule about how much of an individual’s income is taxable and at what rate. This is where tax brackets come in.

The US uses a progressive tax system, which means that the more income an individual taxpayer has, the higher his overall taxes are. Tax brackets are used to show individuals at what percentage rate their income is taxed. This also depends on the filing status that is being used. Tax brackets change frequently. In 2014, the following tax brackets will be used for taxes due April 15, 2015.

                                                         Married Filing
                                Married Filing       Separately/        Head of
             Single              Jointly              Qualifying        Household
                                                           Widow(er)

10%    Up to $9,075     Up to $18,150     Up to $9,075     Up to $12,950

15%    $9,076 to          $18,151 to          $9,076 to          $12,951 to
           $36,900            $73,800              $36,900            $49,400

25%    $36,901 to        $73,801 to          $36,901 to        $49,401 to
           $89,350            $148,850            $74,425            $127,550

28%    $89,351 to        $148,851 to        $74,426 to        $127,551 to
           $186,350          $226,850            $113,425          $206,600

33%    $186,351 to      $226,851 to        $113,426 to      $206,601 to
           $405,100          $405,100            $202,550          $405,100

35%    $405,101 to      $405,101 to        $202,551 to      $405,101 to
           $406,750          $457,600           $228,800          $432,200

39.6% $406,751         $457,601            $228,801         $432,201 
           or more           or more              or more         &n
bsp; or more

Tax brackets have considerably changed over the course of history and in all likelihood will continue do so. The very first tax brackets in the United States became effective in 1862. There were two: the first one was 3% for income up to $10,000 and the second was 5% for income over $10,000. These tax brackets stayed in place until 1872, when the government did not need the money from the collected taxes anymore since the Civil War was over. The taxes were then nullified. It was not until the 16th amendment gave the federal government the right to levy income taxes that tax brackets were re-established in 1913, and they have been continuously effective since then.

It is evident from the history of tax brackets that their rates increase in times of crisis and economic hardship and they decrease when the economy is stable. In 1913, for instance, the tax brackets ranged from 1% to 7%. In 1916, they ranged from 2% to 15%. However, in 1917, the War Revenue Act increased tax brackets dramatically to a range between 2% and 67%. During the Roaring 1920s, the economy was doing extremely well and tax rates were cut, only to increase again during the Great Depression in the 1930s, when the lowest tax bracket was 4% and the highest 72%. World War II also brought an increase of tax rates. In 1944, tax brackets ranged between 23% and 94%. The number of tax brackets also has fluctuated over time. The highest number used was in place during the Great Depression, when there were 55 tax brackets. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 decreased taxes as well as the number of tax brackets from 15 used in 1986 to 7 used in 1987, the same number that will be used during th
e tax season in 2015.

Knowing the difference between federal taxes and state taxes

Written By: Martina James

Every year, individuals all over the United States file their income tax returns. It is an inevitable task that involves many forms, schedules and personal information. Some taxpayers have their return prepared by professionals in the tax field such as certified public accountants and tax preparation companies; others use tax preparation software that is readily available these days. Federal and state income tax returns are both filed, but the difference between the two is not always clear to taxpayers. However, in order to save money and time, it is important to understand what the differences are between them and how they correspond with each other. Nobody wants to over or underpay on his/her tax returns.

Every citizen and permanent resident of the United States is subject to federal income taxes. These taxes have to be paid on all income worldwide from whatever sources, unless such income is excluded from taxation by law. The most common forms used to file a federal tax return are Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. The tax system in the US is a progressive system, which means the more money is earned, the more money has to be paid in taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as federal income tax, are withheld on every paycheck earned throughout the year. If, at the end of the year, not enough tax was withheld to meet tax liability, additional money is owed to the IRS. If too much was paid in taxes, the IRS owes money back to the taxpayer in the form of a federal income tax return. Federal tax laws are written and passed by Congress and the president. The IRS enforces the tax laws, collects taxes owed, issues refund checks and transfers the money collected to the US D!
epartment of the Treasury.

Taxes are also imposed on the state and local level. There are only seven states in the US that do not collect income tax and two additional states that only impose income tax on income from interest and dividends. Most people, therefore, have to file a state tax return along with their federal tax return. Each state’s government levies their own taxes, and each state’s tax forms are different. However, in most cases, the state return form will ask for the federal adjusted gross income as a starting point to calculate state taxable income after applying all state-specific deductions, credits and adjustments. Most states, like the federal government, use the progressive tax system, and forms used to file a state tax return look similar to federal forms. Some states impose a flat rate, which means that a certain amount is paid in taxes no matter how high an individual’s income is. In those states, the forms used to file a state tax return look very different.

While federal tax laws apply to every citizen and permanent resident of the United States in the same way, state tax laws are unique to the state in which a taxpayer resides. Both are important, and neither one should be neglected.

Amending a federal income tax return

Written By: Martina James

When filing taxes, it is important to ensure that all the correct information is reported on the income tax return. Mistakes, however, can happen, and the need to adjust or amend an income tax return may arise. This may be necessary for several reasons, including incorrect reporting of filing status, number of dependents, total income and overlooked credits and deductions. In the case of simple math errors on an income tax return, or documents that weren’t turned in with the return such as W-2 forms and specific schedules, amendment is not necessary. The IRS will adjust small math errors and usually request the missing documents.

 

Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is provided by the IRS to correct errors or omissions on previously filed returns where Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ were used. It is important to state the tax year for which a return is being amended on Form 1040X. If more than one year’s return is being amended, one Form 1040X should be prepared for each year and be mailed in separate envelopes. In case the changes on the original return involve other forms or schedules, these schedules or forms should be attached to the amended return Form 1040X. Amended returns are processed manually by IRS employees and cannot be filed electronically. Processing time for amended returns can take from 8 to 12 weeks.

 

Form 1040X has three columns. Column A contains the amounts reported on the original return, Column C contains the corrected amounts and Column B contains the difference in the amounts of Columns A and C. This difference in amounts has to be justified. For this purpose, there is a space on the back of Form 1040X where changes have to be explained and reasons for the changes have to be given. The amended income tax return has to be prepared in accordance with tax laws, schedules, rules and rates applicable to the tax year for which it is being amended. When amending a joint return, personal information such as names and social security numbers should be shown in the same order as given on the original return. If the filing status is changed from married filing separately into married filing jointly and one of the spouses did not file an original return, the name and social security number of the spouse that did file an original return should be listed first. While a switch!
from married filing separately to married filing jointly is accepted by the IRS, a switch the other way around is not allowed.

 

If an amended return is filed for an additional refund, the first refund check may be cashed while waiting for the additional refund. If additional taxes are owed, it is recommended to pay the amount due as soon as possible in order to lessen interest and penalty charges. Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax return, should be filed within three years of the date the original return was filed to claim a refund or within two years of the date the tax was paid, whichever date comes later.

Calculating federal tax withholding

Written By: Doreen Martel

Regardless of size, business owners who have one or more employees that are paid an hourly wage are typically required to withhold federal taxes as well as other taxes. It is important to keep in mind that if an employer depends on the services of independent contractors, they will not be required to withhold any type of tax.

Calculating withholding taxes

In order to calculate the amount of taxes that must be withheld from paychecks, there is certain information an employer must obtain from the employee. Generally speaking, this is accomplished by having the employee fill out a Form W-4.

In order to calculate the amount of withholding accurately, the following information must be readily available:

    • How often employee is to be paid
    • Whether the employee is married or single
    • How many exemptions the employee plans to claim
    • How much the employee will earn

State taxes also come into play

Depending on the state, there may also be requirements for certain withholdings. In addition to federal income tax withholding, employers may also be required to withhold the following:

    • Social Security taxes
    • Medicare taxes
    • Federal and or state unemployment taxes (FUTA)
    • Taxes imposed by the state or municipality
    • Some states may require state disability insurance tax be withheld

Internal Revenue Service guidance

The Internal Revenue Service provides easy-to-follow instructions to employers for the purposes of calculating the proper amount of withholding. There are two basic types of calculations that may be used to properly withhold taxes. They are:

    • Using wage bracket tables – wage bracket tables allow employers to easily identify how much taxes to be withheld depending upon the wage bracket, number of exemptions, employee marital status as well as what payroll period the company is using. These tables provide for weekly, monthly, semimonthly, bimonthly or for daily income calculations.
    • Percentage tables -while this method is also common, it is slightly more complicated than using wage bracket. While they are available for the same payroll periods, there are separate sets of tables for employees depending upon their marital status. Rather than provide a specific dollar amount to be withheld, a percentage is presented to the employer.

Nontaxable income

Employers must also be aware of what must be deducted prior to calculating federal or state withholding. In general, contributions to 401(k) plans as well as health insurance plans are removed prior to calculating withholding. Small companies who do not use a payroll service will generally need to review the rules prior to their first set of payroll deductions being calculated.

The amount of money withheld from an employee’s paycheck must be segregated and paid to the proper taxing authority. In the case of federal taxes, the money would be paid to the federal government and in the case of state withholding those funds will be paid to either the state or locality where they are due. In many cases, these taxes must only be paid on a quarterly basis but must be reported accurately.

At the end of the year, employers are required to issue a W-2 form which will provide the employee a complete summary of all withholding throughout the year to be used in preparing their tax returns.

The following PDF documents provide employers the information they need to accurately withhold taxes:

Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide
Publication 15A Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide

These publications are for the 2014 tax year.

Amending a filed tax return

Written By: Doreen Martel

When filing an income tax return, the final statement on the document is “signed under the penalties of perjury” meaning the information contained in the document is accurate based on the taxpayer’s knowledge at the time. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen and when they do a taxpayer may be required to file an amended return.

Understanding amended returns

An amended tax return does not have to be filed in the event that simple errors occur. Certain items, such as mathematical mistakes or failure to attach forms will not require an amended return to be filed. However, there are some specific instances where a taxpayer may benefit from filing an amended return. Some of the common reasons include:

  • Missing dependent – a new baby could result in a taxpayer failing to add a dependent a tax return. In this instance, chances are the taxpayer may be entitled to an additional refund.
  • Late forms – in some instances, a taxpayer may receive an important document that should have been filed but was unavailable. This may result in either an additional refund, or in additional tax being owed.
  • Missed deductions – additional deductions that may have been discovered by a taxpayer after filing their tax return could mean an additional refund. However, without filing an amended return, it would be impossible to recuperate that refund.

The legalities of amended returns

In fact, while it is typically a good idea to file an amended return, a taxpayer is under no obligation to do so. However, in the event an amended return may require additional tax payment to the Internal Revenue Service, should the IRS find that mistake later, the taxpayer may be held liable and prosecuted for filing a fraudulent return.

Individual state tax returns

In nearly all cases, filing an amended federal tax return will also require a taxpayer to file a new state return. For most taxpayers, this may also result in an obligation to pay additional state tax as well as the penalties for late payment.

The process of filing an amended return

Unlike a preliminary tax return, amended tax returns may not be filed electronically. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service has specific requirements regarding filing more than one amended return. Specifically, if a taxpayer is amending more than one year’s tax return each must be mailed in a separate envelope.

To file an amended return, taxpayers will need the following:

  • Filed return (Form 1040, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040C)
  • Form 1040X
  • Additional documents that must be filed such as K-1, 1099s or new W-2 forms
  • Accurate tax tables which may be obtained through the IRS website

Once the amended return has been prepared, the taxpayer should review carefully to ensure there are no missed deductions, no math errors and when necessary attach tax underpayments to the form prior to mailing to the IRS. Once the 1040X has been completed, the taxpayers should also review state income tax filings for accuracy and if warranted fill out the appropriate forms to amend that return as well.

Making a mistake on a tax return is not the end of the world; simple mistakes typically do not require an amended return however any mistakes that could result in a significantly higher refund or amount of tax owed should result in an amended tax return being filed as quickly as possible.

Where to Find Copies of Previous Years’ Tax Returns

Written By: Mar K

Many people can remember back to a more primitive era when taxpayers had to store several years’ worth of tax returns as paper copies. They may also remember the sudden panic of getting a notification from the IRS, a new mortgage company, or other institution that they had to find a copy of the one tax return that had somehow become misplaced. In those days, getting a copy of a tax return was a difficult job that could take several weeks.

Modern taxpayers should find the process of recovering previous years’ tax returns simple and quick, and new options should eliminate the need to ever store a paper copy. Mostly, this is because tax returns get stored digitally both by the IRS and online tax preparation services.

Online Tax Preparation Services

With a good online tax preparation service, most taxpayers can do their own taxes. This is particularly true of people with simple returns, but it might even be true for people who own houses, run businesses, or have other complex tax forms to complete.

But in fact, one of the biggest advantages of using an online tax preparation services is that taxpayers can simply log into the service and retrieve a .PDF version of their return to print or store on their computer, tablet, or even smart phone!

A .PDF reader can get downloaded for free from Adobe, the company that makes leading document handling software. However, these days, most institutions that request tax returns do not even require a paper copy. The returns might get emailed or uploaded via the requester website.

Get Tax Returns from the IRS

These are not actually tax returns, but they are something called tax transcripts. These transcripts fulfill the requirements of most student aid programs, including the federal one, and various lending institutions. 

Right now, taxpayers can visit the official IRS website and register for an account. After registering, the taxpayer can select one of two options for retrieving a tax transcript quickly. The simplest thing to remember is to visit IRS.gov and search for “Get Transcript.”

IRS website options:

  • Request a transcript by mail: This option might take a couple of weeks, but submitting requests only takes a few minutes. The option is available in both English andSpanish.
  • Request a transcript online: This options allows taxpayers to download their transcript instantlyfrom files kept online by the IRS. There are different types of transcripts that taxpayers can download, and the IRS even explainswhich options would be best for different types of situations.

Right now, the online option offers the most choices, but it is only in English. The website registration process seems very secure, so online users who follow the instructions should not have to worry about security concerns.

The mail option might be better for people who need to access the Internet from a public computer. The IRS says that mail requests might take five to ten days to process, but this is better than waiting two to six weeks as people did in the old days.

 Advantages of Online Tax Return Storage

Having tax return information stored digitally offers many advantages over relying upon vulnerable and insecure paper copies. Copies can be retrieved quickly and efficiently, and they are produced in a form that can be sent to institutions who request them. Of course, taxpayers still have the option of printing paper copies if they want them.

Social Media Can Save Taxpayers From Underestimating Federal Taxes

Written By: Amy F Cook

As social media becomes more of a business tool, a little known benefit is the year around online resources available to individual or business taxpayers. Underestimating individual or business federal income tax is less likely if the taxpayer takes proactive stance. Instead of risking late payment penalties, cost savings can result from exploring the social media resources found on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website at www.irs.gov.

#IRSCalendarConnector

The IRS Calendar Connector found at @IRSnews on the IRS Twitter feed provides a tool to stay ahead of tax deadlines such as those established for quarterly estimated tax payments. In addition to the calendar connector, the IRS offers webinar training and tips on YouTube and Twitter on a variety of topics including step-by-step instructions on which taxpayers are liable for estimated tax payments. This tool can save time and money by breaking estimated tax payments into four equal payments instead of burdening the tax payer at tax time with not only the IRS bill, but the penalties assessed for underestimating tax payments.

Pay As You Go System

A little known principle of our federal tax system is that it is a “pay as you go system.” This principle is well explained on the IRS YouTube channel along with the purpose of estimated tax payments. Most Americans have automatic income deductions. However, a number of individual and business entities may need to make estimated tax payments. For example, a self-employed taxpayer, who expects to owe $1000.00 or more when filing his/her 2015 taxes simply needs to visit the IRS website to retrieve a copy of the IRS Form 1040 ES to estimate their taxes. All business owners, from small or self-employed entities to large corporations will find similar resources in IRS Publication 505. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. A business owner paying estimated taxes may actually owe les!
s than they think, so there may be added benefits to tapping these resources. To assist in working through all the calculations, rules, exceptions and deadlines, these days, any proactive taxpayer will find IRS resources in every medium imaginable, including mobile applications.

IRS2GO

The IRS has now launched a smart phone/tablet application named IRS2GO to reach out and stay connected to taxpayers on mobile devices. From taxpayer refund status to local free tax preparers available for in person assistance, the mobile application is one of many forms of communication strategies the IRS now uses to assist taxpayers. Even if a business now finds itself with an IRS bill for underpayments of estimated taxes, electronic applications can assist taxpayers in making payments to avoid additional penalties and interest.

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

EFTPS is the IRS secure payment system now available to taxpayers for paying estimated taxes, taxes due and/or penalties associated with a federal tax bill. Similar to a bill payment service, the EFTPS software application allows taxpayers to schedule regular online payments to the IRS. In addition, taxpayers can track their payment history and to make payments by telephone.

For American taxpayers who are intimidated by the maze of IRS rules and publications, social media is the answer to any individual or business question. Anyone who finds social media intimidating has a unique opportunity to overcome this dynamic communication barrier, enjoy the benefits, and cost savings it provides.

What Happened to the IRS Return Schedule?

Written By: Quai Wentt

In years past, the IRS would publish a refund cycle chart every year providing a date when taxpayers could expect their refund according to the date they submitted their taxes. The bad news is in that 2012, the IRS did away with the old system. The good news is they eliminated the old system in favor of offering similar information through their online Where’s My Refund? tool. Far from inconveniencing taxpayers, this new method is easier for taxpayers to access and understand. This article will describe the various new resources for those who might be looking for an IRS return schedule.

Where’s My Refund?
Where’s My Refund is a comprehensive online tool made by the IRS that tracks a taxpayer’s refund from submission to dispersement of funds. Because the tool is updated on a 24-hour basis, there is no need to check it more than once a day. To access his or her refund status, a taxpayer needs some basic information:

  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number
  • Filing status (i.e. single, married-filing jointly, married-filing separately, head of household, or widow/widower)
  • Refund amount (in exact whole dollars)

IRS Mobile App
In addition to Where’s My Refund, the IRS has also created a mobile app called IRS2GO that can be downloaded for free and accessed on Apple and Android devices. Both versions have high user ratings and mostly positive reviews, so they are worth downloading (especially because they are free). The apps have the same functionality as the online version of Where’s My Refund with the convenience of easy access through a smartphone.

*Estimated* Tax Refund Charts
For those who absolutely can not do without a refund chart, there is another option available (however, it is not as reliable as the other two resources listed above). There are tons of estimated tax refund charts circulating on the web such as this one. The charts estimate when a taxpayer should expect his or her return based on its submission date and whether or not the return is to be mailed or electronically dispersed through direct deposit (it is far quicker to get a refund by direct deposit than to get it through the mail).

Bear in mind that the chart found by clicking the link above (as well as any other any other chart on the internet) only reflects estimated data based on previous tax cycles. Therefore, the IRS is not bound by those dates; it they are only for taxpayer’s information.

Final Thoughts

The IRS has eliminated its tax refund charts (probably for good), but there are still plenty of resources for those looking for information regarding their refund status. The IRS is embracing modern technology with its Where’s My Refund online tool and its IRS2GO mobile app. Between those two resources, taxpayers should be able to get all the information they need. However, if they are not sufficient for some reason, calling the IRS at their toll free number (1-800-829-1954) or visiting one of their Taxpayer Assistance Centers is always an option.

Best Ways to Contact the IRS for a Tax Return Update

Written By: Quai Wentt

By now, most taxpayers have submitted their tax returns to the IRS. Those who are anxiously awaiting their returns probably want to contact the IRS frequently to get their status. This begs the question: What’s the best way to contact the IRS for a tax return update? There are various answers to that question according to what works best for each individual. This article will outline the top methods to contact the IRS.

Where’s My Refund?

The IRS has an online tool that updates a person’s refund status once every day. It is accessible anywhere that has an internet connection, and there is even an app version (called IRS2Go) for iPhone and Android. Both of these tools are accessible 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. The Where’s My Refund? tool tracks a taxpayers return with three different statuses:

  1. Return Received
  2. Refund Approved
  3. Refund Sent

The tool also provides users with a personalized estimate as to when they will receive their refund.

Call the IRS
Calling the IRS by its toll-free number (1-866-464-2050) is an option for those who have already visited Where’s My Refund?. However, this hotline is frequently busy; wait times could be an hour or more.

Visit the Nearest IRS Office
For complex tax issues, it may be best to interact with someone face-to-face. Different facilities operate during different hours, so it is best to check beforehand. IRS offices do not offer tax preparation services, but IRS representatives can help resolve and answer questions.

IRS Website
The IRS Website has important information regarding tax returns including tax education, an FAQ, and a Contact Us page that has more information on how to contact the IRS.

Beware of Phishing Emails
The IRS never sends out emails about a taxpayer’s account or tax return. It is vitally important to be wary of any email asking for personal information (such as Social Security numbers, usernames, or passwords). The primary way that the IRS contacts taxpayers is by mail.

Best Way to Ensure a Quick Return
Those who file their tax returns electronically and request their return be sent by direct deposit will receive their refunds much quicker than those who do not.

Reasons Why a Return Can be Delayed
There are a few main reasons why a return can be delayed. The most common reason is that the return contains errors. For the best results, it is vital to verify the correct Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number, direct deposit information, and the correct mailing address. Other issues include incomplete files, returns that need further review, and files that contain Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation).

Summary
The IRS has made it easy for taxpayers to get status updates on their returns. The best way to contact them is to use the Where’s My Refund? or IRS2Go tools, but they can also be contacted in person or by phone. However, taxpayers should use safe online practices to protect their identity and bear in mind that some issues may slow down the receipt of their return.