The Internal Revenue Service or IRS, like other large organizations, sometimes makes mistakes and encounters problems with people. It's not uncommon for officials here to have problems locating a specific individual. While on the surface this can seem a good thing as no one likes paying taxes, such is not always the case for many taxpayers. Roughly seventy-five percent of all filers will get a refund. If you are one of those taxpayers, you definitely want to have that refund check in your hands as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right to now to find out if you are owed money and have access to the money quickly.
Contact the IRS
The first step you should take is to contact the IRS. You do this in several ways. Calling the IRS directly is easy. The phone number is 1-800-829-1954. You may have to call them several times in order to directly speak to a person or you may be put on hold. Allow at least half an hour for the IRS phone call just in case. You can also get on the site's website and find out if they have any records related to you. Before you make any calls or the check the site, it is a good idea to have all information you need on hand. You will need to provide them with specifics related to your account such as your filing status. If you are asking on behalf of someone else in your household, it's a good idea to get information such as their social security number in advance before you do anything else. If there are any problems with your refund such as it was garnished for problems such as child support payments due, the IRS will let you know this when they tell you about your refund. They may also instruct you about actions you can take to avoid such problems when you file in the future.
Paper and Electronic Filing
Many taxpayers choose to file their income tax return today electronically. This can be useful as it allows you to avoid paperwork that might otherwise get lost in the mail. You can file in the mail. If you are due a refund, you can pick from one of two options. Direct deposit means the amount is deposited in your account when it is due. You can also opt for a paper check sent through the mail. Each particular method may have issues. Your direct deposit may have been deposited in the wrong account. In that case, you can request information about the IRS used in order to double check your own records. When you ask for a paper check, the check may have gotten lost in the mail or it may have been delivered to the wrong address and been cashed. The IRS specifically recommends that all those filing consider filing electronically. They also recommend that all taxpayers request any refund to be directly deposited in their account. This is considered the best way to make sure the funds are there quickly.
No Contact Via Email
Keep in mind that the IRS will not use email to contact you. If you get an email claiming that you have a refund, this is not an official email and is likely to be a scam. Do not click on these emails. Do not open any attachments you see. Simply delete the emails and ignore them.
The Next Year
Another factor to keep in mind is that any refund that you have due, if you don't get it this year, it will be applied to any tax return you file the next. However, you should also keep in mind that all refunds not claimed in a three year period will be considered forfeit. It now belongs to the United States treasury. You cannot claim it. So it's very important to make sure that you are aware of any refunds that are due to you in the year they are owed. If you think you are owed money from the Internal Revenue Service, you need to find out and contact them quickly or you may not get that money at all.
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