IRS Tip Sheet: Answers to Post-Filing Questions

Taxpayers should hold on to certain records longer than the usual three years

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The IRS, anticipating Americans’ post-tax-filing questions about refunds and other concerns, issued a tip sheet on Monday, the federal income tax filing deadline.

The statement said taxpayers can go online to check the status of their 2010 refund 72 hours after IRS acknowledges receipt of their e-filed return, or three to four weeks after they mail a paper return. It listed three options for checking on a refund:

  • Go to the IRSWeb site—click on “Where’s My Refund”
  • Call 800-829-4477~24 hours a day, seven days a week, for automated refund information. Call 800-829-1954 during the hours shown in tax form instructions
  • Use IRS2Go. Those with an Apple iPhone or iTouch or an Android device can download an application to check the status of their refund.

The IRS said tax records should normally be kept for three years, but some documents should be kept longer. These include records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRAs, and business or rental property.

In addition, it recommends that taxpayers keep copies of tax returns they have filed and the tax forms package as part of their permanent records. These could be helpful in amending already filed returns or preparing future ones.

Taxpayers who discover an error on their return can correct it by filing an amended return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Doing this is important because errors may delay a refund or result in notices sent by the IRS.

Taxpayers who move after they filed their return should send Form 8822, Change of Address, to the IRS. Those expecting a paper refund check should also file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service.

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