1997 Taxes Part 1
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 1998 The Internal Revenue Service says a few minutes checking your federal tax forms before sending them in may save you money and time in the long run.
For example, IRS officials said, if forms are missing or your math is wrong, the tax package may be returned to you for correction. This could mean the tax return is considered late, penalties and interest could accrue, or your refund may be delayed.
Just a few of the things tax officials suggest you check before sending your federal tax return to the IRS include:
- Did I use the correct forms?
- Is my arithmetic correct?
- Is my Social Security number correct on all of the tax forms?
- Are the Social Security numbers correct on the dependents I'm claiming?
- Did I mark the proper box for the filing status?
- Is my mailing address correct on the tax return?
- Did I use the correct tax table or tax schedule for the tax rate?
- If I am owed a refund, is the amount on the proper line?
- If I owe additional taxes, did I enclose a money order or check for the correct amount?
- Did I put my Social Security number on the check, and did I spell out Internal Revenue Service?
- Did I sign and date the return?
- If I am filing a joint federal tax return, did my spouse also sign and date the form?
- If I am mailing the tax return, did I put enough postage on the envelope?
IRS Looking for a Few Taxpayers
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service owes 100,000 taxpayers almost $63 million in tax refunds from 1996.
IRS officials said they want these people to receive their refund checks, but the problem is the agency can't find them.
If you were supposed to receive a tax refund and didn't, IRS officials said you should check with the IRS tax center where you filed your federal tax return or call toll-free (800) 829-1040.
The main reason people who should receive a tax refund don't, the officials explained, is that they move and don't inform the tax agency of their new address.
Notifying the IRS of an address change is simple if you move after you have filed your tax return: Send IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, to the IRS center where you filed the return.
IRS Offers One-Stop Form Ordering
American Forces Information Service
WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service makes it easy to get copies of every federal tax form that you need to do your taxes. All it takes is a toll-free telephone call and the forms are on the way, IRS officials said.
There is a tax form or schedule to cover almost any tax situation that you may have faced this year. For example, said IRS officials, if you claim child care expenses, you need IRS Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses. If you worked out of your home and are claiming expenses, file IRS Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, with your return.
Some of the most requested tax forms include:
- Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return;
- Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals;
- Form 1040V, Payment Voucher;
- Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return;
- Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income;
- Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Person;
- Form 2119, Sale of Your Home;
- Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Credit;
- Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative;
- Form 3903, Moving Expenses;
- Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund;
- Form 4070-A, Employee's Daily Record of Tips;
- Form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form;
- Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization;
- Form 4684, Casualties and Theft;
- Form 4797, Sales of Business Property;
- Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return;
- Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions;
- Form 8452, U.S. Individual Income Tax Declaration for Electronic Filing;
- Form 8606, Nondeductible IRS Contributions;
- Form 8815, Exclusion of Interest from Series EE U.S. Savings Bonds Issued After 1989;
- Form 8822, Change of Address;
- Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home;
- Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses;
- Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card;
- Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate;
- Form W-10, Dependent Care Provider's Information and Certification;
- Schedule A, Itemized Deductions;
- Schedule B, Interest and Dividend Income;
- Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business;
- Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business;
- Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses;
- Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss;
- Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit;
- Schedule R, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled;
- Schedule 1, Interest and Divident Income for Form 1040A Filers;
- Schedule 2, Child and Dependent Care Expenses for Form 1040A Filers;
- Schedule 3, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled for Form 1040A Filers.
To request copies of these and other free IRS forms, call toll-free 1-800-829-3676 or write to:
Forms Distribution Center
PO Box 85627
Richmond, VA 23285.
Copies of some forms are available through installation tax assistance offices, local libraries and post offices. In addition, IRS officials said, you may be able to download some forms from the agency's World Wide Web site (http://www.irs.ustreas.gov).
Other on-line IRS addresses are Telnet (iris.irs.ustreas.gov) and file transfer protocol (ftp.fedworld.gov/pub/). Or, you may wish to call IRIS at Fedworld at (703) 321-8020.
If you have a facsimile machine or personal computer with modem and fax software, you may want to use the IRS forms fax service at (703) 368-9694. For copies of up to three frequently requested forms per call, dial from a fax machine, follow the voice prompts, then switch to the fax session. Computer users need to connect a touch-tone phone to the modem line to respond to voice prompts.
IRS officials stressed that forms submitted with
returns must be on plain paper, not thermal paper. The fax service telephone number is not a toll-free call.
Check Late Tax Refund With IRS
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON -- If you filed your federal tax return and are expecting a refund, allow the Internal Revenue Service about eight weeks' processing time before you check on its status.
If you filed by mail and the check hasn't arrived by the end of eight weeks, or if you filed electronically and it has been more than three weeks, call the IRS Automated Refund System at toll-free (800) 829-4477.
When you call, IRS officials said, make sure you have a copy of your federal tax return. Information you'll need to use the system includes the first Social Security number listed on the form, filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of the expected refund.
Refund information is updated every seven days. If you call and aren't given the date the check will be issued, IRS officials said to wait another week before calling the refund system again. If, after the second call, you don't receive an issuance date, call your local IRS office for assistance. Your tax return may have gotten lost, or the check may have been lost or stolen. Whatever the problem, IRS officials said, it will be taken resolved as quickly as possible.
The touch-tone service is generally available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Hours may vary in your area, tax officials said. If you are using a rotary telephone, the hours are usually Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
IRS officials said the best time to file is in January or February because fewer returns are filed then and the return process moves quicker. These early filers often get their refund checks in just three or four weeks.
If you filed your return through the mail, use the following chart to determine when your tax refund should arrive. The dates don't apply if you filed electronically or by Telefile.
Return Mailed Refund Expected
Jan. 16 or earlier By March 13
Jan. 23 March 20
Jan. 30 March 27
Feb. 6 April 3
Feb. 13 April 10
Feb. 20 April 17
Feb. 27 April 24
March 6 May 1
March 13 May 8
March 20 May 15
March 27 May 22
April 3 May 29
April 10 June 5
April 17 June 12
IRS officials said processing could take several months or a few days. To begin with, mailed returns are opened, sorted, coded, and edited for computer entry. Information and math entries are checked for accuracy. Required schedules and attachments are checked.
If the information is correct, tapes with the data are sent to a computing center where the final tax information is credited to the taxpayer's account. Finally, the information is sent to the Treasury Department's regional finance centers, which issue the checks.
The automatic refund deposit program is an easier, quicker way to receive your refund and can cut up to three weeks off the waiting time, IRS officials said. If you want the refund automatically credited to your savings or checking account, just fill in the required information on the tax return.