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Take Steps Now for Tax Filing Season

Get ready today to file your 2016 federal income tax return.

Print Publication 5273, Take Steps Now For Tax Filing Season (PDF)

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Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

What You Need to Know

  • Processing delays are likely for filers with expired Individual Tax Identification Numbers.

  • There are two reasons an ITIN would expire December 31, 2016:

    • If you have not used your ITIN on a U.S. tax return at least once for tax years 2013, 2014 or 2015 or

    • If your ITIN has the middle digits 78 or 79 (9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN)
 

What You Need to Do

  • You can renew your ITIN now if it expired and you plan to use it on a U.S. tax return.

  • No action is needed by expired ITIN holders who don’t need to file a tax return next year.

  • There are new documentation requirements when applying for or renewing an ITIN for certain dependents.

  • To avoid delays, ensure accurate W-7 and valid ID documents are submitted.

  • Find more information at IRS.gov/ITIN.

 

 

Refunds

What You Need to Know

  • Expecting a refund? Some refunds must be held until February 15.

    • According to a new tax law change, the IRS cannot issue refunds before February 15 for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.

    • This applies to the entire refund, even the portion not associated with these credits.

  • The IRS has begun to release taxpayer refunds for those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit. However, these refunds likely won’t start to arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27.


 
 

What You Need to Do

  • Be careful not to count on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations.

  • File a complete and accurate return and include all known refundable credits with your original return.

  • Check Where’s My Refund on IRS.gov or the IRS mobile app, IRS2Go, for your personalized refund status.

 

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

What You Need to Know

  • Some taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need to know their 2015 Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, to e-file their 2016 tax return.

  • When self-preparing your taxes and filing electronically, you must sign and validate your electronic tax return by entering your prior-year AGI or your prior-year Self-Select PIN. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option.
 

What You Need to Do

  • If you have a copy of your 2015 federal income tax return, your AGI is on line 37 of the Form 1040; line 21 on the Form 1040-A or line 4 on the Form 1040-EZ.x

  • Learn more about how to verify your identity and electronically sign your tax return at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

 

Protecting Taxpayers

What You Need to Know

  • To better protect taxpayers, the IRS recently upgraded its identity verification process for certain online self-help tools. The purpose is to prevent taxpayer impersonations and account takeovers by identity thieves.
 

What You Need to Do

  • Because the Secure Access platform is more rigorous, it helps if you prepare to register in advance.

  • The new authentication is currently being applied to Get Transcript Online.

 

IRS Help

What You Need to Know

  • All IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now operate by appointment only.

  • Many questions can be resolved on the IRS.gov website without visiting a TAC.
 

What You Need to Do

  • Start with IRS.gov for help including tools, filing options and other services and resources.

  • If you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, always check IRS.gov for days and hours of service as well as services offered at the IRS TAC location you plan to visit. For most services you must call to make an appointment.

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-Mar-2017