Advice on Avoiding Refund Delays Issued

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The IRS has released another in its series of reminders to ensure “smooth processing” of 2016 returns and avoiding delay in refunds.

Among their tips:

  • Have all relevant documents, such as W-2s and 1099s, before filing a return. Taxpayers may also need a copy of their 2015 return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their adjusted gross income from a prior return to verify their identity.
  • Under the PATH Act, any ITIN issued prior to 2013 or that hasn’t been used for tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015 will no longer be valid for use on a return as of Jan. 1. Individuals with expiring ITINs who need to file a return in 2017 will need to renew their ITIN. This process typically takes seven weeks, but can take up to 11 weeks if taxpayers wait to file a W-7 during peak filing season or send it from overseas.
  • Taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit will have their refund held by the IRS until Feb. 15 as part of fraud prevention.
  • The IRS always cautions taxpayers not to rely on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills.

The IRS has a page on with steps to take for the 2017 season.

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