If you have tried to contact the IRS in the last year, you know that the pandemic has significantly and negatively impacted their operations. Whether you are communicating by mail or by phone, you can expect it to take significantly more time to resolve an issue or receive an answer than in days past.
There is good news, however. The IRS has improved some old online tools and released a few new ones on the IRS website to make communicating with their agency much easier. Whether these tools are new or just new to you, they are a welcome step forward!
Helpful IRS Online Tools to Help Run Your Business
We think some of the most useful online tools include the following tools:
- Where’s My Refund. This service will let you know if your return has been processed and, if so, when to expect your refund. You just have to enter some details from the return in question, including your Social Security Number, filing status, and expected refund. Click on “Where’s My Refund?” from the Refunds menu option on IRS.gov to access this tool.
- Online Tax Deposits. The IRS also started accepting online payments in the last few years. During this pandemic, we have encouraged all clients to make their payments online. Last fall, several clients received letters from the IRS advising them that their tax payment had not been received and additional penalties had been assessed. A few weeks after these letters started going out, the IRS announced that they were months behind opening mail and depositing payments.
Making your payment online is the best way to ensure that the IRS receives and applies your payment. While the IRS worked with folks last year to resolve any inappropriate late payment fees, most folks prefer the peace of mind offered by paying online and knowing that your payment was received and applied. Click on Make a Payment from IRS.gov to make the payment by credit card or ACH.
- Taxpayer Online Account. This tool is amazing. The ease of use and the volume of information available once you set up your secure access is incredible. If you haven’t created your online account with the IRS, click here to take a look.
Some instances when this has been useful for clients include the following examples:
- Economic Impact Payments are listed in your online account. These should be listed on your 2020 tax return. The IRS did not send any tax documents to remind you at the end of the year. If you don’t remember if you received them or don’t remember the exact amount, log in to your online account to check.
- Tax Deposits can be made within your online account.
- Payment Plans can be evaluated and possibly initiated through your account if you are unable to pay the balance due when filed.
- Some Notices and Letters are posted to your online account. If you are waiting for a response to a communication to the IRS and are worried it was lost in the mail, check here before you panic.
- Transcripts can be requested through the portal. You can use the IRS transcript tool to request a Return Transcript, a Record of Account Transcript, an Account Transcript, or a Wage & Income Transcript. Set up your online account to learn more about the different types of transcripts available through the IRS transcript tool.
- Authorizations: The IRS has rolled out a new “Tax Pro” account portal which works in concert with your Taxpayer Portal to simplify the process to submit a Power of Attorney or Tax Information Authorization form.
- Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). This is one of the most recent new online tools offered by the IRS. These PINs were established several years ago as a response to a significant increase in fraudulent returns. The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to request a PIN this year. They have added an online tool that allows you to request this online. You can read more about IP PINs at this link and submit your online request if it sounds like something you want to do.
- IRS Operations During COVID-19. Finally, if you find yourself wondering what the IRS is doing, they’ve created a dedicated website page to keep all of us posted on their status and challenges. You can visit that page to find timely updates.
Need Help With IRS Tools?
Whether you are new to these IRS tools or just want more guidance on how to use these tools to support your business, we can help you. We’re here to help. Call us today to discuss!