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As we head into another pandemic tax season, all indications are that the IRS still hasn’t caught up from last year, and that ongoing staffing issues and changes resulting from stimulus payments are going to make this year even more challenging. You can read more about it in this article from The Washington Post.

The good news is that we have done our homework and compiled an updated list to help prevent delays and surprises with your returns. There are new wrinkles this year, like IRS letters 6419 (Advance Child Tax Credit) and 6475 (Third Round Economic Impact Payment) that we MUST have in order to process your return. We need the two IRS letters listed above to process your income tax return. If the credits we list on your tax return do not match what is on file with IRS it will take 5-6 months for IRS to process your tax return after we file it for you. Also, if the credits we list do not match IRS records this will change the refund or balance due amount on the tax return.

We have also included timeless reminders and best practices we think you’ll find helpful in getting organized well in advance of filing deadlines.

  1. Don’t throw out any mail you get from IRS! Even if it looks insignificant, what we submit on your behalf MUST match what the IRS has on record, or your return will be delayed by as much as 6 months! Examples of letters you might receive, like those mentioned above, are further detailed below.
  1. Got kids? New This Year: If you received the monthly child tax credits in 2021 you will be receiving IRS Letter 6419. This IRS letter will indicate the amount of the credit received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children used to calculate that amount. We need a copy of this letter to process your tax return. From July through December 2021, eligible taxpayers were allowed to receive up to $300 per month for children under 6 and $250 per month for children 6-17. People who received the monthly payments can also check how much they received through the CTC Update Portal on the IRS website. If you received the monthly child tax credits in 2021 you will be receiving. We MUST have a copy of this letter to process your tax return! 
  1. Remember that 3rd round of stimulus that happened in March, after lots of people had already filed their 2020 taxes? People who received the third stimulus check, officially called the 2021 Economic Impact Payment, will receive Letter 6475 from the IRS. This will help them determine if they received the EIP or if they should claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2021 income tax return we file for you this year.
    “Letter 6475 only applies to the third round of Economic Impact Payments that was issued starting in March 2021 and continued through December 2021,” the IRS said on its website. “The third round of Economic Impact Payments, including the ‘plus-up’ payments, were advance payments of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit that would be claimed on a 2021 tax return. This is important information for your Tax preparer.
  1. The health of our staff is the single biggest factor in our ability to continue operating at maximum efficiency during tax season. Due to the COVID-19 virus we have changed how we operate in this new climate. Keeping our employees and clients safe is a top priority, so we will not be having in-person appointments, but we will have a safe and secure drop off and pickup protocol for you. We also require that you wear a mask when you enter our office (even if you are vaccinated).
  1. Filing season is expected to begin on January 24, 2022, but as we know from last year, that date can be a moving target amid the pandemic. As soon as we have confirmation of an “official” start date we will notify clients by e-mail.
  1. Tax Year Organizers will be going out to clients shortly—no need to contact us to request yours! Keep an eye out for an e-mail from SecureFile Pro that lets you know it’s been uploaded to the portal.
  1. Make sure we have your preferred e-mail address. If this is the inbox where you like to hear from us, you can call this one done! If there’s a different e-mail we should use, please send your update to [email protected]
  1. Collect any questions you have about your return and include them, in writing, with your documents on the portal. This will enable us to address specific questions about your individual return while we are working on it and have your information in hand. 
  1. Provide us with all your information, all at one time. Stops and starts slow everything down. 
  1. Did you collect unemployment in 2021? If so you will receive Form 1099-G in the mail from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You can see an example on our previous checklist post here.
  1. Health Connector Insurance? If your health insurance is through the Health Connector you will receive a copy of Form 1095A in the mail. You can see an example on our previous checklist post here. Make sure to include it with your documentation.
  1. Estimated tax payments? If you paid estimated taxes in 2021 and January 2022 please list the date(s) of payment and the amount(s) paid.
  1. Keep your medical receipts—at home. Please provide only the total amounts if you know you spent enough itemize. 
  1. Visit our website for office updates. And if you are a client and not on our mailing list, please join using the opt-in link on our website home page. It is important that you join our e-mail list now more than ever because this will be our main line of communication.
  1. Please be patient. Like most businesses these days, COVID-19 has greatly impacted our operations. Following these guidelines will truly help minimize interruptions and keep things running most efficiently!