Tax season is here and taxpayers can take these steps to avoid hiccups in processing their 2017 tax return.
1) Gather your documents
Before you file, file a complete and accurate tax return by making sure you have all the necessary documents. This includes:
- Forms W-2 from employers.
- Forms 1099 from banks and other payers.
- Forms 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the Premium Tax Credit.
These forms typically start arriving by mail in January. Check them over carefully, and contact the payer right away for a correction if you spot errors.
2) Taxpayers with expiring ITINs should renew immediately
Individuals with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number with expiring ITINs should renew it before year end to avoid refund delays and miss out on key tax benefits. These ITINs expire Dec. 31, 2017:
- ITINs not used on a tax return in the past three years.
- ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80.
To renew an ITIN, submit a completed Form W-7. Next, mail the completed form together with original identification documents or copies certified by the issuing agency. Once filed, it takes about seven weeks to receive an ITIN assignment letter from the IRS.
3) For a speedier refund, go with e-file and direct deposit
Several e-file options include:
- IRS Free File.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.
- Commercial tax preparation software.
- Tax professional.
- IRS.gov/getready – Information about how to prepare for the upcoming filing season.
- Let Us Help You – Online tools and resources for taxpayers.
- IRS Services Guide – Links to tax resources for individual taxpayers.