Monday, March 8th, 2021
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U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson IRS Filing Update
Information from Congressional Staff for Your District
about Tax Filing

Key Points:
Economic Impact Payments – As noted in a recent IRS news release, as required by law, all first and second Economic Impact Payments have been issued. Eligible people who didn’t receive an EIP, or did not receive the full amount, can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing a 2020 tax return. Those not required to file a return can find information at Claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return. Taxpayers will need to know the amount any Economic Impact Payments they received in order to calculate the amount of their Recovery Rebate Credit. That information is available using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. As of January 29, 2021, Get My Payment will no longer be updated for the first and second Economic Impact Payments. Taxpayers can also view or request their tax record at Get Transcript.

Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) – When taxpayers File electronically the tax software will help them figure their Recovery Rebate Credit. Visit IRS.gov/filing for details about IRS Free File, Free File Fillable Forms, Free VITA or TCE tax preparation sites in your district or state or finding local trusted tax professionals. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help determine eligibility for the credit instructions on how to claim it. More on the RRC is available at Recovery Rebate Credit and in the Recovery Rebate Credit Frequently Asked Questions. See also this RRC YouTube video.

Choosing a Tax Professional – The Choosing a Tax Professional page on IRS.gov offers a wealth of information for selecting a tax professional. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion. Also see Tips to help people choose a reputable tax preparer.

IRS Free File – Most taxpayers can e-file for free using IRS Free File. If they earned $72,000 or less during 2020, taxpayers can find at least one offer from an IRS Free File partner. Click “browse” on the page to review the options, or IRS Free File has a look-up tool to help find an offer that best meets individual needs. Some Free File partners also offer free state return preparation. Most offer specialized assistance to military members. Military members can also use Military OneSource MilTax - Online Tax Prep.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly Information – VITA/TCE sites are operated and staffed by volunteers with support from the IRS. Due to the pandemic, not all sites are open, and some are operating in a manner consistent with social distancing. For more information and to find a VITA/TCE site in your area visit Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) – Due to a 2020 decline in income, some will find themselves, perhaps for the first time, eligible to claim the EITC and/or ACTC. For details about EITC, see IRS Publication 596, this EITC YouTube video and for ACTC see the Instructions for Schedule 8812, Additional Child Tax Credit. To find out if they’re eligible for the EITC and get an estimate of the amount of their credit taxpayers can use the IRS’s Earned Income Tax Credit Assistant. More information is at Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The 2020 income limit for EITC eligibility is $56,844. See also New option for claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit.


Missing W-2 or 1099 – For more on this issue see Topic No. 154 Form W-2 and Form 1099-R (What to Do if Incorrect or Not Received). Someone who did not receive the missing or corrected form in sufficient time to file their tax return may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099- R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., to complete their return. They’ll need to estimate the wages or the payments they received, and any taxes withheld and report them on Form 4852. Those using a substitute for the normal income reporting document(s) may experience delays in the processing of their return.

Refunds and Payments – In just 24 hours after e-filing, or in four weeks after mailing in a return, taxpayers can track the status of their refund using Where’s My Refund. It works on the IRS2Go app. All IRS payment options can be found at IRS.gov/payments. For individual taxpayers the easiest is IRS Direct Pay: It’s free, payments are made electronically, they can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance, cancelled or edited up to 1 day in advance and there are optional tracking and alert features. Payments can be made by credit or debit card, the payment processors, not IRS, charge a service fee. Options for those who can’t pay in full are also available.

Self-Service Tools and Account Management Options – The IRS offers several online self-service and account management tools. See IRS.gov/help/tools. Many of these tools can be used by anyone with internet access including access by a mobile device. Some tools, like View Your Account, the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) program and the Online Payment Agreement Application, require individuals to set up an online account with the IRS. To protect all taxpayers’ vital tax information, the authentication process to set up an online account with IRS is rigorous. For information on this see Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools. For what taxpayers can do with an IRS online services account see this YouTube video. For more on the IP PIN program see IRS Publication 5367, Identity Protection PIN Opt-in Program for Taxpayers. For information on all IRS services and how to access them see Pub 5136, IRS Services Guide.

Latest on IRS Operations and Ordering Forms, Instructions and Publications – For the latest on IRS Operations during COVID visit IRS operations and services. To get paper copies of IRS material visit IRS.gov/forms-pubs/order-products.

Final Note – There are many low-income/underserved among us who did not receive an EIP and will face difficulties in filing a 2020 return to claim the RRC. Information, tools, forms and instructions are included above to help people file 2020 tax returns and claim the RRC, even if they’re not normally required to file. Community organizations, charitable groups, state and local agencies and others are urged to use these resources to help low-income and underserved individuals in their community prepare and file a 2020 return claiming the RRC, e-filing where possible, filing by mail where necessary.  
Please text me at 662-522-1400 for additional questions or inquiries.