Recent Tax Updates

Reminder of Recently Introduced Helpful Online Tools for Individuals

April 8, 2015

The IRS has released several online tools on their website in the past year. These tools allow an individual to make a direct debit payment online for estimated payments/amount owed with an extension/balance due on a current or prior year federal return, get the status of their amended return, or get information on a prior year federal tax return.

Direct Pay
If an individual would like to make a direct debit payment to the IRS for a current or prior year balance due or look up what payments they have made, they can use the Direct Pay online tool on the IRS website.

In order to make a payment, all the individual needs to do is:

  • Provide their tax information
  • Verify their identity
  • Enter their payment information
  • Electronically sign the transaction
  • Print or record their online confirmation number

An individual can make current and prior year payments (using Direct Pay) for their individual federal return (Form 1040), estimated payments (Form 1040-ES), payment due with an amended return (Form 1040X), additional tax (shared responsibility payment) related to their premium tax credit (Form 8962), and any additional tax they may owe for distributions related to qualified plans such as IRAs (Form 5329).

Where’s My Amended Return?
If an individual has filed an amended return they can now find out where it is in the IRS processing stream by using the “Where’s My Amended Return?” look-up tool. The status will be available on this application three weeks after it was mailed to the IRS.

Three weeks after it has been mailed to the IRS, the following information is available about the amended return once the Social Security Number, date of birth, and ZIP code has been entered:

  • Confirmation that the IRS received the amended return
  • An update on the amended return’s current status
  • Estimated time for the IRS to complete the processing of the amended return

Get Transcript (Prior Year Return Information)
If the taxpayer needs a copy of a federal return for a prior year, the IRS has made available an online tool that allows them to retrieve a copy of their return information for the three prior tax years (and current year after it has been filed). The taxpayer has the ability to download the return and/or print a copy of it immediately online. This new application eliminates the previous constraint to wait five to ten days while the IRS processed the request and mailed a copy of the taxpayer’s prior year return information.

The Get Transcript application operates as follows:

  • Once the taxpayer accesses the page, they will select Get Transcript Online
  • The taxpayer will be walked through an authentication process
  • Once authenticated, the taxpayer will see a screen that gives them the option to select:
    • Tax Return transcript – Shows most line items on the tax return as originally filed, including accompanying forms and schedules.
    • Tax Account transcript – Provides any adjustments that were made to a return after it was filed.
    • Record of Account transcript – Combines the information from the tax return and tax account transcripts.
    • Wage and Income transcript – Shows data from the taxpayer’s W-2s or 1099s reported to the IRS for the particular tax year.