it is, that dreaded season of the year called, “Tax Time”. That’s like saying, “Here comes Trouble, with
a capital ‘T’”, right? So, you gather up
all of your paperwork.You know, like
your W-2’s, your 1099’s from your bank or broker, your 1098-T from your school,
and, oh yeah, your kids’ Social Security cards.
Then, you load all of that stuff up into your wheelbarrow (well, not
really, but it feels like that, doesn’t it?), and you trudge into your local Liberty Tax
office to file your tax return. Your
preparer diligently asks you questions about your last name and your kids’ last
names, if different, and asks questions for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
get down to the bottom line and you are getting a huge refund of $8000! Wow!
That’s more than you’ve seen in a long time and you’ve already got it
spent.You leave the Liberty Tax office
confident that your return will be processed that day, and feeling pretty sure
that you’ll be getting your refund in about 10 – 14 days or so.
A few hours
later or the next day, you get a call from your Liberty office. Uh-oh, something’s wrong! They tell you the IRS has rejected your
return!“Rejected my return?” you
ask.&; How could that possibly have
happened to me?The Liberty Tax person
on the other end tells you that, according to the IRS, someone else has claimed
one of your children on their return
What?! Well, who’s the dirty dog
that would do that? How could someone
else claim my child? Could it be that your ex- claimed that child? Or, how about another relative, say, your
mother who keeps the child during the day?
what do I do now?” you query. I’m glad
you asked! Because this is just one of
the many reasons why you must file a
paper return, that is, if you want to get the refund that you think you are
supposed to get.
re-submit an e-filed return that has been rejected, unless you correct the
error that caused the “reject” in the first place. The IRS will take your paper return, give you
your estimated refund, and, then, in about July or so, will bring those two
returns together to analyze them.
They’ll send out letters to you and to the other party (who will remain
nameless by the IRS) and make a determination as to who is really eligible to
claim that child.
reason for a paper return is that someone has claimed you as a dependent
on their federal return. You may be living at home and are 18 years old.You’ve earned a bit of money cutting grass
this summer or working at the local fast food joint and your friend says he’ll
file your return for you. Your friend,
however, failed to ask you if your parents were going to claim you, so you
filed claiming yourself. By the time
your parents get around to filing, you’ve already gotten (and spent) your
refund. Your parents, however, have their return rejected because they claimed
you (as they were rightfully allowed to do and should have done!) on their
return. So, guess what, bucko? If they want to get their refund (and maybe
the EITC, too), they will have to file a paper return. And, YOU should file an amended return (Form
1040X), also a paper return, and pay back to the IRS some or all of that big
refund that you spent at the local electronic, gadget store. (Speaking of
amended returns, you have 3 years within which to file an amended return and it
is always paper. But, we can talk more
about that later.)
If a friend
or relative (not your spouse) dies and you are the court-appointed executor or
administrator of the estate, you’ll probably want to file a “final” return for
the deceased. In this case, you’ll be
filing a Form 1310 to claim a refund for the deceased. This would also require a paper return.
MUST file a paper return if your preparer does not have the capability of
e-filing. This could be because they do
not possess an Electronic Filing Identifying Number or EFIN. They may not have an EFIN because they
couldn’t pass the background check required or they may owe back taxes and the
IRS will not give them an EFIN. If you
are dealing with a preparer who does not e-file your return, you need to look
very carefully at why that is. Since it
takes about 4 – 6 weeks to get your refund when you file with paper, rather
than less than 2 weeks when you e-file, you might consider going somewhere
else! Every Liberty Tax office MUST
e-file returns, so you know that the owner of that store does possess an EFIN,
and, therefore, has passed a background check, etc.
Whew! I’ll bet you never thought there were so many
scenarios where a paper return must be filed, eh? No one ever said the IRS was a friend of
trees, did they?
you next time right here on the Greenhornet Blog!