Filing your taxes can be a huge undertaking, even if your financial situation hasn’t changed much since last year. So submitting or mailing is often quite the stress relief. But what happens if the IRS rejects your return? And why does it get rejected?
If you’ve received the dreaded notice from the IRS, never fear. It’s often a simple error that needs to be corrected and returned (promptly), but could mean tapping your tax preparer again to fix it. Take in our simple steps to understanding and correcting tax return rejection.
Typically, rejected returns have some sort of numerical error, which may be your Social Security number, birthday, EIN (Employer Identification Number), or AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). Some taxpayers guess last year’s AGI because they’ve misplaced it, a good case for staying organized and moving your files to a trusted hard drive.
Misspellings are also common (committed by both tax preparers and the filer themselves), typically of names and addresses.
In some cases, the tax return doesn’t have an error itself, but the information does not match what the IRS has on file, such as your Social Security Number. However, you will not know that for certain when notified from the IRS, just that there was an error with that particular information. When a situation like this occurs, you will often have to file a paper tax return. With this return, you’ll include a copy of your Social Security card as proof.
After receiving the notice, act quickly. If you resubmit your return electronically within 5 days, you will not be subject to a late filing fee. To resubmit my mail, your grace period is extended to 10 days.
Hopefully the error is a quick fix, like a number of your birth date, but consulting your tax preparer may be required if your math was off, or AGI was incorrect. This may cause a delay, by which resubmitting via mail might be required. Resubmitting a paper version can relieve some stress as you have more time to correct. However, the later you re-file, the later it will be processed.
You’ll be relieved to know rejected returns aren’t uncommon. Some taxpayers have their return rejects multiple times! So there’s no need to panic or feel bad – just make sure your first corrected return is your last. You’ll be pleased that your refund isn’t further delayed!
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