Frequent IRS Questions Answered For Tax Time


The IRS is urging tax payers to “avoid the rush” and use to find quick answers to frequently-asked questions. We’ll go over some of these questions below and be sure to let us know any other you have in the comment section.

Refund Questions

The most-frequently asked IRS question is “Where’s my refund?” In fact, the government agency has built a tool to check on your status.

If you’re expecting a refund, the IRS issues more than 90 percent of refunds in less than 21 days. If you used the Earned income Tax Credit or the Additional Tax Credit, your refund may take slightly longer.

A couple of other things to be aware of when it comes to your refund:

  • IRS phone assistants will not have additional information about your refund
  • Despite the common myth, ordering a tax transcript will not get your refund faster
  • If you want to speak with somebody in person about your refund, you must make an appointment at your local taxpayer assistance center.

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Tax Law Questions, Tax Forms

There are a few common questions about tax returns that have relatively straightforward answers.

What Should I Do If I Didn’t Get A W-2?

If you’re an employee, your W-2 should have been mailed out by the end of January. If you haven’t received it by the end of February, the IRS suggests reaching out to your employer to ensure they’ve sent it out and that they have the correct mailing address. Still haven’t received one after following the above instructions? Contact the IRS and they’ll send a letter to your employer.

If you’re self-employed but also receive a W-2, we’ve written detailed instructions on how to pay taxes with a W-2 and 1099. If this applies to you, you’ll need to file IRS Form 1040—you can’t use the shorter Form 1040A or 1040EZ.

If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll need to file IRS Schedule C with your tax return to determine if your self-employed business had a profit or loss. If it’s a profit, you add that on to your W-2 income. If it’s a loss, you can subtract it from your other income.

Remember, this is for your annual tax return. Most self-employed workers have to pay quarterly estimated taxes.

How Do I find My Adjusted Gross Income for 2015?

You need your Adjusted Gross Income for 2015 when filing your 2016 returns. To find your 2015 AGI, go to line 37 on Form 20140, line 21 on Form 1040A or line 4 on Form 1040-EZ. I used an online tax prep software last year and was able to find my 2015 AGI by logging in and clicking on the 2015 returns.

What If I Can’t Pay My Tax Bill?

Both businesses and individuals can apply for an online payment agreement here. This helps to see if you qualify for an installment plan.

How to Call The IRS

The main IRS phone number for individuals is: 800-829-1040

Here’s another list of important IRS phone numbers you should know about. Also, be wary of people calling you on the phone claiming to be from the IRS. Those types of fraudsters are out in force this time of year.

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