Datatron Tax Service is always ready to answer any questions you have, but for immediate answers, you may refer to the following Frequently Asked Questions. All of the pieces of information are sourced from the official websites of the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.
If you wish to learn more, you may click the links provided along with the answers. You may also get in touch with us for any questions specific to what we do. We serve clients in Southfield, Michigan.
How quickly will I get my refund?
The IRS issue most refunds in less than 21 calendar days.
What is the best and fastest way to get information about my refund?
Use the IRS2Go mobile app or the Where’s My Refund? tool. You can start checking on the status of your tax return within 24 hours after we have received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return.
Will I see a date for my refund right away?
Where’s My Refund? will not give you a refund date right away. The IRS must first receive your tax return and then they will have to process it and approve your refund. Where’s My Refund? will give you a personalized date once your refund is approved.
It’s been longer than 21 days since the IRS received my return and I have not gotten my refund. Why?
The IRS work hard to issue refunds as quickly as possible, but some tax returns take longer to process than others for many reasons, including when a return:
- Includes errors
- Is incomplete,
- Needs further review
- Is impacted by identity theft or fraud,
- Includes Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process.
If they need more information to process your tax return, they will contact you by mail.
IRS representatives can only research the status of your return if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than six weeks since you mailed your paper return, or if Where’s My Refund? directs you to contact us. Our general telephone number is 1-800-829-1040. However, given our limited resources, our phone lines are going to be extremely busy this year – and there will frequently be extensive wait times.
Will calling the IRS help me get my refund any faster?
Calling the IRS will not speed up your refund. Phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your refund if it has been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return, or Where’s My Refund? directs you to contact us. If more information is needed to process your tax return, the IRS will contact you by mail. Otherwise Where’s My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund. Use the IRS2Go mobile app or use the Where’s My Refund? tool. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Can I receive a tax refund if I owe for a prior year’s federal taxes since I am currently making payments under an installment agreement or payment plan?
No, one of the conditions of your installment agreement is that any refund due to you, the IRS will automatically apply against taxes you owe. Because your refund isn’t applied toward your regular monthly payment, continue making your installment agreement payments as scheduled until you pay your liability, including accrued penalties and interest, in full.
If your refund exceeds your total balance due on all outstanding liabilities including accruals, and you don’t owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state tax, a student loan, or child support, you’ll receive a refund of the amount over and above what you owe. For more information on these non-IRS refund offsets, you can call the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) at 800-304-3107 (toll-free). Head to the IRS website to learn more.
Is there a way to find out what are the new tax changes this year?
Laws change often, and to verify what may have changed for yourself or business see the link provided and note “what’s new” under the heading that reflects your situation.
How can I update my address?
There are several ways to tell the IRS that your address has changed. See the following methods:
Use your new address when you file
Send us a signed written statement with your:
Mail your signed statement to the address where you filed your last return.
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:
If you filed a joint return, and are still residing with your spouse, both you and your spouse should sign 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 address.
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.
I have recently updated my name. How do I update and ensure the IRS has my information?
If you legally change your name for marriage or any other reason, you must tell the Social Security Administration (SSA). It will update your Social Security record and send you a new Social Security card with your correct name. Do this before you file your return. If you keep your maiden name when you marry, you don’t need to notify the SSA.
The IRS will reject your return if the Social Security number (SSN) on your return doesn’t match the name it’s associated with on your return. This applies to anyone on your return, including:
- Your spouse
- Your dependents(s)
Take your completed application to your local Social Security office. You must also show a recently issued original document, like a marriage certificate, as proof of your legal name change. You must provide original documents since the SSA won’t accept photocopies.
If you change your name due to marriage, divorce, or annulment, you must also provide:
- Identity document that shows your old name
- Recent photograph or other identifying information
To qualify for head of household filing status, do I have to claim my child as a dependent?
Generally, to qualify for head of household, you must have a qualifying child or dependent. However, a custodial parent may be able to claim head of household filing status with a qualifying child even if he or she released a claim to exemption for the child. See the website of IRS to learn more.
What should be my filing status?
Your filing status is used to determine your filing requirements, standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits, and your correct tax. If more than one filing status applies to you, this interview will choose the one that will result in the lowest amount of tax. See the IRS website for more information.
Who can claim head of household status?
You can consider claiming (HOH) filing status if you meet the following requirements:
- You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of 2016.
- You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
- A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year. Temporary absences, like for school, don’t count. However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, the parent doesn’t have to live with you.
To be considered unmarried on the last day of 2016, you must meet these tests:
- You file a separate return.
- You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for 2016.
- Your spouse didn’t live in your home during the last six months of 2016. If your spouse is only temporarily absent, your spouse is considered to live in your home.
- Your home was the main home for more than half the year for your:
- Foster child
You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. However, you meet this test if you can’t claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child.
To learn more, see Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, Table 4 on the IRS website.
What should I do if I made a mistake on my federal return that I’ve already filed?
It depends on the type of mistake you made:
- Many mathematical errors are caught during the processing of the tax return and corrected by the IRS, so you may not need to correct these mistakes.
- If you didn’t claim the correct filing status or you need to change your income, deductions, or credits, you should file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
When filing an amended or corrected return:
- Include copies of any forms and/or schedules that you’re changing or didn’t include with your original return. To avoid delays, file Form 1040X only after you’ve filed your original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years after the date you timely filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
- Allow the IRS up to 16 weeks to process the amended return. To learn more, visit this page on the IRS website.
I retired last year, and started receiving social security payments. Do I have to pay taxes on my social security benefits?
Social security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. They don’t include supplemental security income (SSI) payments, which aren’t taxable. The net amount of social security benefits that you receive from the Social Security Administration is reported in Box 5 of Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, and you report that amount on your income tax return (Form 1040, line 20a or Form 1040A, Line 14a).
The taxable portion of the benefits that’s included in your income and used to calculate your income tax liability depends on the total amount of your income and benefits for the taxable year. You report the taxable portion of your social security benefits on Form 1040, line 20b or Form 1040A, line 14b.
To find out whether any of your benefits may be taxable, compare the base amount for your filing status with the total of:
- One-half of your benefits; plus
- All of your other income, including tax-exempt interest.
The base amount for your filing status is:
- $25,000 if you’re single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er),
- $25,000 if you’re married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse for the entire year,
- $32,000 if you’re married filing jointly,
- $0 if you’re married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year.
If you’re married and file a joint return, you and your spouse must combine your incomes and social security benefits when figuring the taxable portion of your benefits. Even if your spouse didn’t receive any benefits, you must add your spouse’s income to yours when figuring on a joint return if any of your benefits are taxable. Visit the IRS website to learn more about this.