Where's My Tax Refund? HR and Employee Tax Refunds
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For some employees the H.R. department serves as a pseudo friend, parent, advisor and medical provider. I have been in H.R. departments when employees would come in and ask the strangest questions;
Do you think it is time I got married?
Do you think I should get divorced?
Does this mole look funny to you?
Do I have a fever?
I am sure you have heard your share of strange questions as well. This year it is possible your employees may have a difficult time with their tax return. For many employees this can be very frustrating since they depend on getting their refund quickly. So if your employees come to you with refund questions here is some guidance you can share.
Due to the continuing tax negotiations (or non-negotiations) individuals may find filing their personal tax return more difficult this year. It appears that if an agreement is reached it will be at the last minute, or if no agreement is reached then tax changes will not be known until after the end of the year. For this reason it is estimated that over 50% of taxpayers will have to wait to file their return. It will take time for the I.R.S. to get its systems in place to receive returns and for software writers to put the final guidelines in the programs. Some estimate it could be March for some filers.
In addition there appears to be a change in how the I.R.S. will review returns and issue refunds. In the past an individual could go to www.irs.gov and under the “Where’s my Refund” link get a projected date of mailing along with the refund amount. The projected refund date was based on the date the return had been received into the I.R.S. processing system.
Now the guidance indicates that refund dates will be "personalized" to each return. The individual should still go to www.irs.gov and click the “Where’s my Refund” link. They will need the name for the primary filer on the return (this has to be exact), the social security number for the primary taxpayer and the exact refund amount filed. Once this information is entered the system will generate a “personalized” date the refund will be mailed.
This “personalized” system reflects an increase in screening the I.R.S. is implementing regarding returns. While the I.R.S. will not publicly discuss its screening procedures it is anticipated that returns having large earned income credit amounts, large losses on Schedule C or excessive Schedule A deductions could trigger a closer inspection. It does not mean these returns are wrong, just that the I.R.S. wants to add an additional review to verify accuracy. This additional review will likely delay some returns.
So, when your employees start coming in to H.R. to ask tax questions regarding their refunds here is some information you can share.