The IRS has been busy. From a third round of stimulus payments, to a delayed tax filing date, to relief for taxpayers involved in disputes with the federal tax agency -- just to name a few of the things everyone needs to know about.
Stimulus: You may have already received your stimulus check. Ninety million payments have been sent out so far, according to the IRS. More than $242 billion arrived in individual bank accounts through direct deposit or as a check via mail recently, thanks to the American Rescue Plan -- with more stimulus payments arriving in the coming weeks.
If you provided direct deposit information on your 2019 or 2020 tax returns (or if you used the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov last year), take a look at your checking account for the deposit.
The deposit could add up to a tidy sum. For couples who are eligible, it’s $2,800, plus $1,400 for each dependent.
If you haven’t received your payment yet, you can check the Get My Payment tool (tinyurl.com/um7wjjk9) on the IRS website to find out more details of when the stimulus money might arrive. According to the website, Get My Payment is updated once a day.
To use the tool, you enter your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code. Once you hit the “Continue” button, you’ll be given details on your payment. The website explains the various status messages you might see: Payment Status, Payment Status Not Available or Need More Information. More detail on the status messages can be found in the Get My Payment FAQs (tinyurl.com/ncuvxv7d).
For more information about the stimulus payment, read the IRS’ “More details about the third round of Economic Impact Payments” at tinyurl.com/5ptc8pru.
New tax date: In case you missed it, the IRS and the Treasury Department announced on March 17 that the federal income tax filing due date for the 2020 tax year for individuals has been extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021 (tinyurl.com/4vkztt6t). This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments, which are still due on April 15, 2021. Also, the postponement does not apply to state taxes, with the IRS recommending that taxpayers check with their state tax agencies (tinyurl.com/59ap7v2p) for more details.
It is the second year in a row that the federal income tax due date has been extended, with last year’s being moved from April 15 to July 15 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tax Court: Virtual help is available from the IRS for taxpayers involved in Tax Court cases without having to go to trial. The mechanism is Virtual Settlement Day (VSD).
VSDs offer taxpayers a chance to resolve cases. Since last May, the IRS has settled 259 taxpayer cases through VSD. Taxpayers can receive free tax advice from Low Income Taxpayer Clinics, American Bar Association volunteer attorneys or pro bono organizations.
“I strongly encourage all taxpayers who have the ability to participate in a settlement day event to do so because they will understand their own case better while not giving up their day in court if they so choose,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.
The timing is right. We are in the middle of “National Settlement Month,” and VSD events will be available for taxpayers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. To find out more, go to tinyurl.com/ycd2tn9y.
Julie Jason, JD, LLM, a personal money manager (Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers Inc. of Stamford, Connecticut) and award-winning author, welcomes your questions/comments (email@example.com). Please visit www.juliejason.com.
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