Category Archives: tax refund

Why Was My Tax Refund Lower This Year?

Was Your Tax Refund Lower Than Expected This Year?

Did you expect have your tax refund lower this year? You are not alone! In fact, the IRS put out a report by the Treasury Department on February 14th. The IRS report said that, the average refund it is paying in 2019 has gone down to $1,949 from $2,135 in the prior year. On average the tax refund decrease was $186 per taxpayer. In addition, the number of taxpayers filing returns so far has Continue reading

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Checking Refunds Are Fast, Easy When Using Direct Deposit

Checking refunds are Fast and Easy. Direct Deposit is even Faster

Checking refunds are fast and easy when you use direct deposit. Did you file your 2016 federal return? Are you due a refund? You can check the status of your refund online. Continue reading

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Childcare Providers Enjoy Special Tax Deductions

Childcare providers, did you know that the tax law provides you with special tax breaks. Daycare tax breaks are not limited to childcare providers only. They also include those who care for the disabled and eldercare providers as well. These daycare tax breaks include deductions for travel, capital purchases, supplies, children’s meals and the business use of your home. Continue reading

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Unpaid Debt Can Take Your Tax Refund

Do you have unpaid debt?

Unpaid DebtAs the tax season approaches, you may be get excited about your potential tax refund. But you never thought your unpaid debt would take a chunk out your tax refund. That excitement may be premature if you have outstanding federal or state debts. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) issues federal tax refunds, and Congress authorizes BFS to reduce your refund through its Treasury Offset Program (TOP) to pay:

  • Past-due child and parent support;
  • Federal agency non-tax debts;
  • Unpaid debt for a student loan
  • State income tax obligations; or
  • Certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state.

So, if you owe a debt that is past-due, it can reduce your federal tax refund. All or part of your refund may go to pay your outstanding federal or state debt. That is if it has been submitted for tax refund offset by an agency of the federal or state government.

If you have an outstanding debt and want to be proactive, contact the agency with which you have a debt. They can help you figure out if your debt was submitted for a tax refund offset. You may call BFS’s TOP call center at 800-304-3107 or TDD 866-297-0517, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

If your debt was submitted for offset, BFS will reduce your refund as needed to pay off the debt and send it to the agency you owe. Any portion of your remaining refund after offset is issued in a check or direct deposited as originally requested on the return.

What if I wait to see what happens with my unpaid debt?

If you choose to wait and see what happens when you file your return, BFS will send you a notice if an offset occurs. If you wish to dispute the amount taken from your refund, you will have to contact the agency that submitted the offset claim. It will show on the notice you receive from the BFS.

What if I have unpaid debt and filed a joint return?

If you filed a joint tax return, and only one spouse is responsible for the debt, the other spouse may be entitled to part of or all the refund. To request the refund of the spouse that is not responsible for the offset, you can file Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. The benefits provided under the injured spouse allocation will generally not apply if you reside in a community property state.

Please contact this office if have you have questions about refund offsets.

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Unclaimed Refund: Are You Leaving Tax Money On The Table?

2015_04_15 Unclaimed Refund2Do you have an unclaimed refund? Each year the IRS reports about $1 billion in unclaimed refunds for individuals who did not file a tax return. The IRS estimates that approximately half of the unclaimed refunds are for amounts greater than $600. You may not have filed, thinking that because you don’t itemize and your employer is withholding tax that you don’t need to file. But there is a good chance you are leaving money on the table by not filing. Consider the following:

  • Over-Withholding – Your employer may have withheld more than you owe, as withholding is not an exact science. But you have to file to get the excess back.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – An EITC is a credit for lower-income taxpayers. If you worked and earned less than $52,427 last year, you could receive the EITC as a refund if you qualify with or without a child. The credit can be as much $6,143 and is fully refundable. This is a very lucrative credit, but you have to file to benefit from it.
  • Child Tax Credit – If you have at least one child under the age of 17 you probably qualify for the Child Tax Credit. Generally this credit is non-refundable. It can only be used to reduce taxes owed. However, if you work, your income is low to moderate and you don’t use the full credit amount to offset taxes, a portion of the $1,000 per child credit may be refundable.
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) – The AOTC is available for four years of post-secondary education expenses and can result in a credit of up to $2,500 per eligible student enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period during the year. Up to 40% of the credit is refundable, so even if you don’t owe any taxes, you may still qualify for the credit. But to claim the credit you must file a return.
  • Premium Tax Credit (PTC) – If you acquired your health insurance last year through a government marketplace, you probably qualify for an insurance subsidy in the form of the PTC. But you have to file to get the credit. If you received the PTC in advance to reduce your premiums, as did most individuals who used a health insurance marketplace, you must file a tax return and reconcile the advance PTC against the actual PTC.

If you have not filed in the past, the statute of limitations for a refund is 3 years from the unextended due date of the return. If you have a refund coming for past years you should file before the statute expires. For example, to claim a refund for a 2011 return you will need to file the 2011 return no later than today, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, or the refund is gone forever.

An Unclaimed Refund is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Do you have any unclaimed refund? We want you to get ALL your money. WorthTax has expertise in preparing tax returns for all years, including past years. Please contact this office at 781-849-7200 for assistance so you can get the refunds you are entitled to.

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Tax season has gone, but you can still file for an extension.

Call Alex Franch, EA at 781-849-7200 for your appointment and learn about our extension discount here.

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Massachusetts Tax Refund (or Federal): Checking the Status is Easy

If you already filed your Massachusetts or federal tax return and are due a refund, you can check the status of your refund online.

Federal/IRS – Where’s My Refund?

Where’s My Refund? is an interactive tool on the IRS web site. Whether you split your refund among several accounts, opted for direct deposit into one account, or asked the IRS to mail you a check, Where’s My Refund? will give you online access to your federal income tax refund information nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

wheres_my_refund_engIf you e-file your federal return, you can get refund information 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. Nine out of 10 taxpayers typically receive federal tax refunds in less than 21 days when they use e-file with direct deposit. If you file a paper return, refund information will be available starting four weeks after mailing your return. When checking the status of your refund, have a copy of your federal tax return handy. To access your personalized refund information, you must enter:

  • Your Social Security Number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number);
  • Your Filing Status (Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er)); and
  • The exact refund amount shown on your tax return.

Once your personal information has been entered, one of several personalized responses may come up, including the following:

  • Acknowledgement that your return was received and is in processing.
  • The mailing date or direct deposit date of your refund.
  • Notice that the IRS could not deliver your refund due to an incorrect address. You can update your address online using the Where’s My Refund? feature.

Where’s My Refund? provides the most up-to-date information the IRS has. There’s no need to call the IRS unless Where’s My Refund? tells you to do so. The database is updated every 24 hours – usually overnight – so you only need to check once a day.

There’s an App for That

IRS2Go is the IRS’ first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on the status of their federal income tax refund. Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Google Play Store to download the free IRS2Go app.

More Questions or Issues?

Where’s My Refund? also includes links to customized information based on your specific situation. The links guide you through the steps to resolve any issues affecting your refund. For example, if you do not get the refund within 28 days from the original IRS mailing date shown on Where’s My Refund?, you can start a refund trace online.

If you’re still unable to resolve your issue, you can contact the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 or contact a local Massachusetts IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Massachusetts/DOR – Webfile for Income

webfileMassachusetts allows you to check your Massachusetts tax refund status on their website, but you need to register with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in order to do so.

Registering

To create a Login User Name and Password to access your account in WebFile for Income, you will need one of the following:

  • A current year four digit PIN which is only available if a pre-printed tax return was mailed to you. If you did not receive a pre-printed tax return you must select one of the other options. You will not be able to obtain a PIN by contacting the Department of Revenue.
  • Your Massachusetts tax return filed for one of the last four years. You will need your refund or tax due amount from this return.
  • If you do not have either a PIN or have not filed a Massachusetts tax return in the past four years, you should select the “I do not have either” option.

The system will ask you for your name, Social Security Number, email address, and phone number. It will then ask you to create your own User Name, Password, select a secret question and provide the answer to that question.

User Name: Your User Name is the name that you choose to serve as your WebFile for Income identity. Your User Name is not case sensitive.

Password: Your password is the private combination of letters and numbers you chose when signing up for WebFile for Income. Your password is case sensitive and it must be between 8 and 15 characters, have at least 1 upper and 1 lower case letter, and 1 digit. (i.e. Example1)

Secret Question and Answer: You will select a secret question from the drop down menu and provide an answer to the question selected. The answer is case sensitive so please record your secret answer exactly as you have entered it (including correct placement of upper and lower case). The Secret Question and Answer will be known only to you, and can be used in the future to reset your password if you forget it.

There’s an App for That – for Massachusetts Tax Refund, too!Massachusetts Tax Refund

Massachusetts WebFile Mobile is the DOR’s first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on the status of their Massachusetts tax refund. Apple users can download the free Massachusetts WebFile Mobile application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Google Play Store to download the free Massachusetts WebFile Mobile app.

Having problems?

You can contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for help with your state tax refund at 800-392-6089 or browse their help library online at this link.

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