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In late May, the Internal Revenue Service enhanced the Where's My Refund? tool on their website.

This new feature allows taxpayers to check the status of their refunds for current tax year and two previous years.

In order to check their refund status, taxpayers will need to provide their Social Security number or ITIN, filing status and expected refund amount from the original filed tax return for the tax year they are checking.

Previously, Where's My Refund? only displayed the status of the most recently filed tax return within the past two tax years. Information available to those calling the refund hotline will be limited to the 2021 tax return.

Using the Where's My Refund? Tool, taxpayers can check the status of their refund within:
• 24 hours after e-filing a tax year 2021 return
• Three or four days after e-filing a tax year 2019 or 2020 return
• Four weeks after mailing a return

The IRS reminds taxpayers that the Online Account continues to be the best option for finding their prior year adjusted gross income, balance due or other type of account information.

“We encourage those who expect a refund, but requested an extension, to file as soon as they're ready,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We process returns on a first-in basis, so the sooner the better. There's really no reason to wait until October 17 if filers have the relevant information to file now. Free File is still available for extension recipients to use to prepare and file their federal tax return for free.”

Electronic filing is available anytime and the IRS continues to receive returns and issue refunds. Once taxpayers have filed, they can track their refund with the Where's My Refund? tool.

This helpful tool, accessible on irs.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app, allows taxpayers to track their refund through three stages – received, approved and sent.

The tool is updated daily and gives taxpayers a projected refund issuance date as soon as it is approved.

The IRS does not recommend taxpayers call them to check on their refund status unless it has been more than 21 days since the return was filed or the tool says the IRS can provide more information.

If the IRS needs more information to process the return, the taxpayer will be contacted by mail.

For more information about checking the status of a tax refund, please visit irs.gov/refunds.

Issue highlights another reason to file and make remittance payments electronically

The Internal Revenue Service admitted it destroyed roughly 30 million unprocessed informational returns from the 2020 tax year.

The IRS announced on its website that it has suspended the mailing of automated collection notices, including balance due notices and unfiled tax return notices normally issued when a taxpayer owes additional tax, and the IRS has no record of a taxpayer filing a tax return.

CPAs and taxpayers urged to contact elected officials and push for passage of H.R. 5155

Based on multiple media reports, the U.S. Treasury and IRS are preparing for the worst this filing season.

According to a Jan. 10 Washington Post article, the Treasury warned of enormous challenges this tax filing season that will likely delay refunds.

Treasury Department officials told reporters they predict a “frustrating season” for taxpayers and tax preparers due to delays caused by the pandemic, years of budget cuts to the IRS, and federal stimulus measures that have added to the tax agency’s workload.

A page on the IRS website reminds taxpayers to take the steps now to make the tax filling process easier in 2022.

After more than a year of work, the Ohio General Assembly finally passed legislation to legalize sports gambling in Ohio, which now awaits the signature of Gov. Mike DeWine.

Zinner & Co. is pleased to continue its support and sponsorship of the Magic of LightsTM, being held at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, from Nov. 24 through Jan. 2, between the hours of 5:30 and 10 p.m.

A longtime member of the Zinner & Co. family will retire at the end of the year.

Patti Puterbaugh joined Zinner & Co. LLP in Oct. 2000 as the File Room Clerk. Since then, she has made a lasting impact on the firm.

Often taxpayers will provide their tax preparer with most of their pertinent information needed to file tax returns. However, they sometimes forget to pass along notices from a tax authority, which could impact returns.

For instance, when the Ohio Department of Taxation identifies a perceived calculation error in an individual tax return, they issue a variance notice to the taxpayer. This notice compares the figures on the return as filed to the department's recalculated figures and allows for the taxpayer to disagree with some or all of the adjustments by providing additional documentation.

As we approach the end of 2021, it is important to take a closer look at your tax and financial plans. This year likely brought challenges and disruptions that significantly impacted your personal and financial situation including the continued global pandemic, remote and new hybrid work models, supply chain disruptions and rising inflation.

Now is the time to take a closer look at your current tax strategies to make sure they are still meaningful in today’s world and to take any last-minute steps that could save you tax dollars. While looming tax law changes have not been finalized, many tax planning opportunities still exist! Here are some issues to consider as we approach year-end.