So the tax deadline has come and gone and your taxes are filed for yet another year. Now you may be wondering how long before I will get my tax refund? What do I need to keep for tax record purposes and for how long? What happens if I realize I made a mistake on my return? I just moved, what do I do? These are all very common questions and the answers are pretty straight forward
When Will I Get Refund?
Tracking your tax refund has never been easier. If you e-filed your return you will be able to track it about 72 hours after your paperwork was submitted and if you mailed a paper return, in about 3-4 weeks time you will be able to check your return status. The IRS website lists 4 simple means to track your return:
- You can visit http://www.irs.gov and visit the “Where’s My Refund” section.
- You can call 1-800-829-4477 24 hours a day any day of the week for automated refund information.
- You can call 1-800-829-1954 during office hours to speak with someone regarding your tax return status.
- There’s and app for that: If you have an Apple iPhone or an Android you can download an app to check your refund status.
What Happens If I Moved After I Filed My Return?
If you owed a tax bill and paid it or if you were due a refund and already received it, you do not need to do anything until you file your return next year. At that time you will be able to update your address information. If however you were due a refund and have not yet received it, you will want to make sure that the IRS gets your updated information now. Simply fill out and file from 8822 to update your information. Additionally, you will need to fill out a change of address form with the postal service in order to assure delivery of your refund check.
What Should I Do If I Realize I Made A Mistake On My Return?
Mistakes do happen and there are times when you may file a return and then later realize that you messed up. First, don’t panic. All you need to do to correct the error
is to file IRS form 1040X which is an amendment to your original filed tax return
. From the date you first file your return, you have three years to make an amendment to it. The most common mistakes tax payers make are on their filing status, total income and missed deductions. When you file your amended return, if you owe the IRS money you will need to include payment.
What Documentation Do I Need To Keep And For How Long?
While the IRS can only audit your return for a time frame of up to three years, most tax experts will advise you to keep all supporting tax documentation
for at least 4 years and copies of your tax returns indefinitely. Additionally, some documentation like information on home purchases, home sales and information on IRA’s and other retirement accounts, very often should be kept longer for your own purposes. If you ever have a specific question on what you should or should not keep it is best to seek advice from a tax expert.