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Tips to avoid IRS tax return processing delays

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:21 PM CST
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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - Tax season is quickly approaching, and the IRS is still dealing with 10 million tax returns from last year, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report to Congress.

That could lead to setbacks with your filings. A financial expert has tips that can help you avoid delays in processing this year’s returns.

The IRS has a tremendous backlog of tax returns that the short-staffed agency is wading through before you even file for 2021. Distributing stimulus checks and changes to the tax laws added to the delays in processing.

Financial advisor Ryder Taff with New Perspectives has these tips to help you avoid a holdup with your return. First, gather all of your documents.

“Every source of income you had — employers, pension, 401Ks may have sent you money,” said Taff. “If you had a contract job, a part-time job, if you sold things on EBay, there is a certain threshold for each of those things.”

Next E-File, file electronically. It keeps the IRS from having to sort through stacks of mail.

Third, make sure your filing is complete.

“Did you change jobs? Don’t forget each one of your jobs has to be included,” said the financial advisor. “Did you have a child? Did you receive a tax credit? Make sure you include that. Did you have a divorce or move? Those things that go into play on your taxes.”

A fourth tip is to check your work for math errors.

“Sometimes those errors result in much longer delays,” said Taff. “They have to reach back out to you to justify why you put down a certain number or to send other documentation.”

And finally, sign up for a direct deposit. If you are owed a refund, the money will be put directly into your account.

“It’s faster than sending out a check,” added Taff. “It’s cheaper for the IRS than sending out a check, and I think it makes the process a lot smoother for everybody.”

Experts say if you E-File with direct deposit, you can usually expect your refund in 21 days.

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