Top Frequently Asked Questions

Answer:

There are several ways to tell us your address has changed:

Methods to Change Your Address
Method Action
Oral notification

Tell us in person or by telephone. We'll need you to verify your identity and the address we have on file for you. Please have ready your:

  • full name
  • new address
  • old address
  • date of birth
  • social security number, ITIN or EIN

We may request additional information to verify your identity.

IRS form Use Form 8822, Change of Address or Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business
Tax return Use your new address when you file
Written statement

Send us a signed written statement with your:

  • full name
  • old address
  • new address
  • social security number, ITIN, or EIN


Mail your signed statement to the address where you filed your last return.

If you filed a joint return and are still residing with the same spouse, both you and your spouse should provide your names, social security numbers, new address and signatures on the form or statement.

If you filed a joint return and you now have separate addresses, each of you should notify us of your new, separate addresses.

Authorized representatives filing a form or written statement to change an address for a taxpayer must attach a copy of their power of attorney or Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. Unauthorized third parties can't change a taxpayer's address.

Changes of address through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) may update your address of record on file with us based on what they retain in their National Change of Address (NCOA) database. However, even when you notify the USPS, not all post offices forward government checks, so you should still notify us.

For changes of address relating to an employment tax return, we issue confirmation notices (Notices 148A and 148B) for the change to both the new and former address.

It can generally take four to six weeks after receipt for a change of address request to fully process.

Additional Information:

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Answer:

Yes, but an actual copy of your Form W-2 is only available if you submitted it with a paper tax return:

Transcript

  • You can get a wage and income transcript, containing the Federal tax information your employer reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA), by visiting our Get Transcript page. Refer to Transcript Types and Ways to Order Them and About the New Tax Transcript: FAQs for more information.
  • You can also use Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Check the box for Form W-2, specify which tax year(s) you need, and mail or fax the completed form. Allow 10 business days from the IRS received date to receive the transcript.

    Note: Wage and income transcripts are available for up to 10 years but current tax year information may not be complete until July. This transcript doesn't include any state or local tax information reported by your employer to SSA on Form W-2.

Copy

  • If you e-filed your tax return or you didn't attach your Form W-2 to your paper return, then use one of the transcript options above. Otherwise, you'll need to contact your employer or SSA for a copy.

  • The quickest way to obtain a copy of your current year Form W-2 is through your employer. Your employer first submits Form W-2 to SSA; after SSA processes it, they transmit the federal tax information to the IRS.
  • If you can't get your Form W-2 from your employer and you previously attached it to your paper tax return, you can order a copy of the entire return from the IRS for a fee. Complete and mail Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return along with the required fee. Allow 75 calendar days for us to process your request.

See Topic 159 for additional information.

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Answer:

You can now submit the Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return electronically using available tax software products. Only tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns can be amended electronically. Please see IR-2020-107 and IR-2020-182 for additional information. You still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form.

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Contact an IRS customer service representative to correct any agency errors by calling 800-829-1040. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, unless otherwise noted (see telephone assistance for more information). Unfortunately, this may result in you receiving a paper check.

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To claim your child as your dependent, your child must meet either the qualifying child test or the qualifying relative test:

  • To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year.
  • There's no age limit if your child is "permanently and totally disabled" or meets the qualifying relative test.

In addition to meeting the qualifying child or qualifying relative test, you can claim that person as a dependent only if these three tests are met:

  1. Dependent taxpayer test
  2. Citizen or resident test, and
  3. Joint return test

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Answer:

If you lost your refund check, you should initiate a refund trace:

  • Call us at 800-829-1954 (toll-free) and either use the automated system or speak with an agent.

  • However, if you filed a married filing jointly return, you can’t initiate a trace using the automated systems. Download and complete the Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund or the IRS can send you a Form 3911 to get the replacement process started.

Your claim for a missing refund is processed one of two ways:

  • If the check wasn't cashed, you'll receive a replacement check once the original check is canceled.
  • If the refund check was cashed, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) will provide you with a claim package that includes a copy of the cashed check. Follow the instructions for completing the claim package. BFS will review your claim and the signature on the canceled check before determining whether they can issue you a replacement check. The BFS review can take up to six weeks to complete.

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If by the end of February, your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement has not been corrected by your employer after you attempted to have your employer or payer issue a corrected form, you can request that an IRS representative initiate a Form W-2 complaint. Call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040 or make an appointment to visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). 

Depending on the time of year, the IRS may have federal wage information in the form of a wage transcript. See Topic 159 for more information on how to get a transcript of W-2 information.

When you call the IRS or visit a TAC office, please have the following information available:

  • Your employer's or payer's name and complete address including ZIP code, employer identification number if known (see your prior year's Form W-2 if you worked for the same employer), phone number, and
  • Your name, address including ZIP code, social security number, phone number, and dates of employment.

If you file your return and attach Form 4852, you’ll need to estimate the wages you earned, taxes withheld, and the period you worked for that employer. You should base the estimate on year-to-date information from your final pay stub, if possible. When filing a Form 4852 instead of a Form W-2, there may be delays processing your refund while we verify the information you gave us.

To help protect your social security benefits, keep a copy of Form 4852 until you begin receiving social security benefits, just in case there's a question about your work record and/or earnings in a particular year. After September 30 following the date shown on Form 4852 line 4, use a my Social Security online account or contact your local SSA office to verify wages reported by your employer.

If you receive a corrected Form W-2 after you filed your return with Form 4852, and the information differs from the information reported on your return, you must amend your return by filing Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

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Although these forms are called information returns, they serve different functions.

Employers use Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement to:

  • Report wages, tips, and other compensation paid to an employee.
  • Report the employee's income and social security taxes withheld and other information.

Employers furnish the Form W-2 to the employee and the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration shares the information with the Internal Revenue Service.

Payers use Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income or Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation to:

  • Report payments made of at least $600 in the course of a trade or business to a person who's not an employee for services (Form 1099-NEC).
  • Report payments of $10 or more made in the course of a trade or business in gross royalties or payments of $600 or more made in the course of a trade or business in rents or for other specified purposes (Form 1099-MISC).
  • Report payment information to the IRS and the person or business that received the payment.

Answer:

To determine if the sale of inherited property is taxable, you must first determine your basis in the property. The basis of property inherited from a decedent is generally one of the following:

For information on the FMV of inherited property on the date of the decedent’s death, contact the executor of the decedent’s estate. Also, note that in 2015, Congress passed a new law that, in certain circumstances, requires the recipient’s basis in certain inherited property to be consistent with the value of the property as finally determined for Federal estate tax purposes. Check What's New - Estate and Gift Tax for updates on final rules being promulgated to implement the new law.

If you or your spouse gave the property to the decedent within one year before the decedent's death, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets.

Report the sale on Schedule D (Form 1040), Capital Gains and Losses and on Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets:

Under the new law passed by Congress in 2015, an accuracy-related penalty may apply if an individual reporting the sale of certain inherited property uses a basis in excess of that property’s final value for Federal estate tax purposes. Again, check What's New - Estate and Gift Tax for updates on final rules being promulgated to implement the new law.

For estates of decedents who died in 2010, basis is generally determined as described above. However, the executor of a decedent who died in 2010 may elect out of the Federal estate tax rules for 2010 and use the modified carryover of basis rules.

Under this special election, the basis of property inherited from a decedent who died during 2010 is generally the lesser of:

  • The adjusted basis of the decedent, or
  • The FMV of the property at the date of the decedent’s death.

Under this special election for estates of decedents who died in 2010, the executor of the decedent’s estate may increase the basis of certain property that beneficiaries acquire from a decedent by up to $1.3 million (plus certain unused built-in losses and loss carryovers, if applicable), but the increased basis cannot exceed the FMV of the property at the date of the decedent’s death. The executor may also increase the basis of certain property that the surviving spouse acquires from a decedent by up to an additional $3 million, but the increased basis cannot exceed the FMV of the property at the date of the decedent’s death. The executor of the decedent’s estate is required to provide a statement to all heirs listing the decedent’s basis in the property, the FMV of the property on the date of the decedent’s death, and the additional basis allocated to the property. Contact the executor to determine what the basis of the asset is.

Report the sale on Schedule D (Form 1040) and on Form 8949, as described above.

Answer:

A minister's housing allowance (sometimes called a parsonage allowance or a rental allowance) is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes but not for self-employment tax purposes.

If you receive as part of your salary (for services as a minister) an amount officially designated (in advance of payment) as a housing allowance, and the amount isn’t more than reasonable pay for your services, you can exclude from gross income the lesser of the following amounts:

  • the amount officially designated (in advance of payment) as a housing allowance;
  • the amount actually used to provide or rent a home; or
  • the fair market rental value of the home (including furnishings, utilities, garage, etc.).

The payments officially designated as a housing allowance must be used in the year received.

Include any amount of the allowance that you can't exclude as wages on line 1 of Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors. Enter “Excess allowance” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 1.

If your congregation furnishes housing in kind as pay for your services as a minister instead of a housing allowance, you may exclude the fair market rental value of the housing from income, but you must include the fair market rental value of the housing in net earnings from self-employment for self-employment tax purposes.

For more information on a minister’s housing allowance, refer to Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers.

For information on earnings for clergy and reporting of self-employment tax, refer to Tax Topic 417, Earnings for Clergy.

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