Frequently Asked Questions - Filing Questions

<p>Tax topics and questions you might have while filing</p>

The IRS recommends a few options for obtaining your prior year AGI.
Preferred Method
You should always retain a copy of your tax return.

On your 2019 tax return, your AGI is on line 8b of the Form 1040.

  • If you are using the same tax preparation software that you used last year, that software will likely have your prior-year tax return for you to access.
  • If you’re not using the same tax preparation software as last year, you may be able to access your prior-year software and view an electronic copy of your prior-year return.
  • If you are a first-time filer over the age of 16 enter zero as your AGI.
  • If you have an Identity Protection (IP) PIN, you should enter it when prompted by your software. It will serve to verify your identity, instead of your prior-year AGI or prior-year Self Select PIN. Starting mid-January 2021, you can opt into the IP PIN program through the IRS’ online tool.

Alternative Methods

  • If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you may use a Get Transcript self-help tool to get a Tax Return Transcript showing your AGI.
  • Use the IRS’ Get Transcript Online tool to immediately view your AGI. You must pass the Secure Access identity verification process. Select the Tax Return Transcript and use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.
  • Use Get Transcript by Mail or call 800-908-9946 if you cannot pass Secure Access and need to request a Tax Return Transcript. Please allow 5 to 10 days for delivery. Use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.
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The IRS recommends a few options for obtaining your prior year AGI.
Preferred Method
Retrieve a copy of your 2019 tax return.

  • Look for Form 8812. Earned income is shown on line 6a.
  • If there is no Form 8812, look for the EITC worksheets, which are usually included at the end of your return. Earned income is listed on Worksheet A, Line 1 and Worksheet B, Line 4b.

Alternative Methods
If you do not have a copy of your 2019 return, you can obtain a transcript from the IRS.

  • If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you may use a Get Transcript self-help tool to get a Tax Return Transcript showing your 2019 earned income.
  • Use the IRS’ Get Transcript Online tool to immediately view your 2019 earned income. You must pass the Secure Access identity verification process. Select the Tax Return Transcript and use only the “Schedule EIC Earned Income Per Computer” line entry.
  • Use Get Transcript by Mail or call 800-908-9946 if you cannot pass Secure Access and need to request a Tax Return Transcript. Please allow 5 to 10 days for delivery. Use only the “Schedule EIC Earned Income Per Computer” line entry.
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Yes, you can, though it may be more financially advantageous to file jointly. Almost all married couples that file taxes separately are required to file a return since the income threshold is $5 (versus $24,400 if filing jointly). Filing jointly may also help you qualify for many tax credits and deductions, including the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit).

If you elect to file separately, keep in mind that If one spouse itemizes their deductions, the other spouse must do so as well. If neither spouse itemizes, both can take the standard deduction.

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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit based upon your earned (W-2) income. It usually increases as you add qualified dependents. Additional qualifications include:

  • Taxpayers and qualifying dependents must have Social Security Numbers that allow them to work in the U.S.
  • Cannot file as Married Filing Separately
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year
  • Cannot have foreign income
  • Have investment income of $3,650 or less
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone else
  • Dependent(s) must be related to you, meet certain age requirements, must reside with you for more than half the year, and cannot be claimed by more than one person

For additional information on the EITC: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/use-the-eitc-assistant

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Yes! You can file an extension through MyFreeTaxes and finish filing by October 15, 2021. If you owe taxes and do not pay by the April 15th filing deadline, the IRS will charge you interest each month on the amount you owe until you file and pay. You can learn more here about filing an extension here.

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The email notifying you of the rejection should provide the reason. Make corrections by logging back into your tax software account and refile. If that doesn't work, you may have to file a paper return or contact the IRS. Most common reasons for rejection are:
1. Employer EIN does not match IRS information
2. Social Security number does not match IRS name
3. Someone already filed using a dependent's Social Security number
4. IRS identity theft PIN is wrong or was omitted

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The MyFreeTaxes self-preparation software (accessible by selecting the “By myself” option on our homepage) allows filing and amending current year returns.

The MyFreeTaxes File with Assistance option (accessible by selecting the “With assistance” option on our homepage) connects users who need more support filing their return to partner nonprofits who are part of the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. These programs can file and amend returns for each of the last three years if you meet their eligibility criteria.

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Federal Refund Status: If you need to check the status of your refund, you can use the IRS online application by clicking on the following link: "Where's My Refund?". You can also check the status of your federal refund by phone by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954. For video assistance with tracking your Federal refund, please click here.
State Refund Status: Most states provide online status inquiry. Some states have automated phone verification for refund status, those telephone numbers are provided on the website.

Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware DC Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Utah Vermont Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin      
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There are a number of reasons that the tax refund could be delayed. First, check to make sure that you received an email confirmation that your return was accepted by both the federal and state government. Second, check to make sure that all of your tax documents were included with your return. Missing documents are a common reason for refund delays.

If you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), your refund may be delayed. The 2015 PATH Act requires all refunds claiming the EITC and/or the ACTC (Additional Child Tax Credit) to be held until mid-February regardless of how you filed.

If your tax return included an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application/ renewal, or if you recently received a new SSN for yourself or anyone else on your return, this could also delay your refund. If the IRS needs additional verification or if your return gets audited, they may request additional authentication before releasing your tax refund.

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The Internal Revenue Service prohibits discrimination against taxpayers on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, age, or reprisal. Taxpayers with a disability may request accommodations. You can read more here.

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