You filed your tax returns and have anxiously been waiting for your refund. You may be asking yourself: “Where is my refund? Why hasn’t my refund been sent to me?”
One reason that the issuance of your refund may have been delayed is that tax jurisdictions are very concerned about identity theft. Before issuing that refund, the taxing authority may ask for additional information from you to make sure “you are you”. Why is this year different from prior years?
One explanation given is that identity theft thieves have become more sophisticated. You may have read in the news that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be required to issue separate Medicare ID numbers and not use an individual’s SSN as the Medicare ID number. It has been reported that off-shore thieves are using that Medicare information to file false tax returns to claim a refund. Since employers who efile their payroll info to the SSA have until March 31 to do so, the tax authorities cannot match the amounts shown on the tax return against the SSA’s records until after March 31.
As if the IRS did not already have enough problems with its image and inadequate precautions to prevent identify theft, it was recently embarrassed by one of its agents who shared a taxpayer’s private information with millions of listeners of the Howard Stern show. The agent had called into the show and was on hold. He then was speaking with the taxpayer discussing her personal finances and did not realize he had been taken off hold and was on live radio. That agent is now on administrative leave. This embarrassing moment can be found on the Internet at IRS Embarrassed on Howard Stern Show.
PA is paying special attention to taxpayers who had PA income tax withholdings withheld at a rate greater than 3.07% and are due a refund. Some taxpayers have received requests from the IRS and the PA DOR to provide copies of W-2s, 1099s and other sources of income and income tax withholdings. This type of request is a precautionary step used by the PA DOR and the IRS to verify that you are indeed who you say you are.
Since ID thieves will request that the refund be sent to an address they have easy access to, the IRS has begun to issue Notices CP184A & CP148B to notify the taxpayer that the IRS has received documentation showing a change of address and is requesting that you verify that change.
If you have been waiting for your refund “forever”, you can check on its status with the IRS at Where is my IRS refund? and with the PA DOR at Where is my PA refund? Another way to expedite the release of your refund is to call the IRS and PA and tell them you are inquiring about the status of your overdue refund. Be sure to have your tax returns in front of you when calling as the tax representative will need to verify with you the information on your return. These calls can expedite the release of your refund.
If you want to learn more about tax preparation services or tax planning strategies, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.