It's that time of year again. Your personal income
How Can I Estimate My IRS Refund?
If you want to know how much of an IRS refund you may get, start by collecting the information you'll need to get an estimate. There are a number of estimate sites out there (just do a search for 'Tax Estimator'), but to use any of them you'll need the following information handy:
* Number of exemptions you'll be claiming
* Amount of your income from all sources
* Information on any deductions, payments and credits
The amount of an IRS refund you will receive will depend on the number of exemptions you claimed on your Form W-4 with your employer. The fewer exemptions you claimed, the more taxes that were taken out of your check. If this resulted in an overpayment of taxes you will receive an IRS refund. However, if you claimed more exemptions than you take on your return you may have underpaid and would owe taxes to the IRS. And, if you are self-employed and didn't make any estimated tax payments you may also owe taxes plus penalties.
There are several new deductions and credits available this year due to the Economic Stimulus Plan which may make you more likely to get an IRS refund.
How do I File for My IRS Refund?
To file your income taxes most people will need to fill out some version of IRS Form 1040. Depending on your circumstances there may be many additional forms to file to claim deductions or account for income. The easiest way to ensure you are filling out all the forms you need and claiming all the deductions you can is to use an online tax preparation site.The site will ask you pertinent questions about your income, expenses and deductions and automatically fill in the correct forms for you. It will also allow you file electronically, which allows you to receive your IRS refund more quickly.
When Will I Get My IRS Refund?
When you'll receive your IRS refund will depend on when and how you file your taxes. The IRS won't guarantee the date of any refund. But, they do have a general cycle. For most returns, if it is filed between Friday and the next Thursday, an electronic direct deposit will be sent on the Friday of the next week. For example, if you file your taxes between Friday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 21 the direct deposit will be sent on Friday, Jan. 29. If you have opted to have a paper check mailed, however, the check won't be processed and mailed until a week later. In our example, that date would be Friday, Feb. 5. So, the quickest way to receive your refund is to opt for direct deposit when you file.
The IRS also has a way to look up the status of your refund. By going to the IRS website and clicking on the 'Where's My Refund?' link, you can enter some personal information that allows the IRS to find the status of your refund. You can generally get this information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or three to four weeks after mailing a paper return.
You'll need to provide the following information from your tax return:
* Your Social Security Number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
* Your Filing Status
* The exact whole dollar amount of your refund
One of the biggest reasons for delayed IRS refunds is putting an incorrect address on your return, if requesting a paper check, or entering incorrect routing or account information, if you are requesting direct deposit. Be sure to double-check this information before filing for your IRS refund and, if you move after filing your return, be sure to update your address with the IRS.