Issue Number: IR-2022-156
Inside This Issue
September is National Preparedness Month; IRS urges everyone to update and secure their records to prepare now for natural disasters
IR-2022-156, Aug. 29, 2022
WASHINGTON — September is National Preparedness Month. With the height of hurricane season fast approaching and the ongoing threat of wildfires in many places, the Internal Revenue Service urges everyone to develop an emergency preparedness plan, or if they already have one, update it for 2022.
Everyone, from individuals to organizations and businesses, can start now by:
- Securing and duplicating essential tax and financial documents.
- Creating lists of property.
- Knowing where to find information once a disaster occurs.
In the aftermath of a disaster, having the updated documents and other information readily available can help victims apply for the relief available from the IRS and other agencies. Disaster assistance and emergency relief may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area.
Taxpayers should keep critical original documents inside waterproof containers in a secure space. These include tax returns, birth certificates, deeds, titles, insurance policies and other similarly important items. In addition, consider having a relative, friend or other trusted person retain duplicate copies of these documents at a location outside the potentially impacted disaster area.
If original documents are available only on paper, try scanning them into a digital file format. Saving them in a secure digital location, like a cloud-based storage application, can provide added security and portability.
Maintain a detailed inventory of your property and business contents. Taxpayers can take photos or videos to record their possessions but should also write down descriptions including year, make and model numbers, where appropriate. After a disaster hits, this kind of documentation can help support claims for insurance or tax benefits. The IRS disaster-loss workbooks can help individuals and businesses compile lists of belongings or business equipment.
Employer fiduciary bonds
Employers using payroll service providers should check if their provider has a fiduciary bond in place to protect the employer against a possible provider default.
Most employers already use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to make their federal tax deposits and business tax payments. Because these payments can easily be made either by phone or online, EFTPS offers an especially convenient option when a disaster may displace many businesses and their employees. It’s also easy to track tax payments and receive email alerts through EFTPS. Any business that doesn’t have one can create an EFTPS account by visiting EFTPS.gov.
Know where to go
Reconstructing records after a disaster may be required for tax purposes, getting federal assistance or insurance reimbursement. Most financial institutions can provide statements and documents electronically, an option that can aid the reconstruction process. For tips on reconstructing records, visit IRS's Reconstructing Records.
IRS is ready to help
Following a federal disaster declaration, the IRS may postpone various tax filing and tax payment deadlines or provide other relief. For a list of localities qualifying for relief and details on relief available, visit the IRS Tax Relief in Disaster Situations webpage or Around the Nation on IRS.gov.
The IRS identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and automatically applies filing and payment relief. This means taxpayers whose IRS address of record is located in the disaster area do not need to contact the IRS to get disaster tax relief.
In addition, many taxpayers living outside the disaster area may also qualify for relief. This includes those assisting with disaster relief and taxpayers whose records necessary to meet a filing or payment deadline postponed during the relief period, are located in the disaster area. Eligible individuals and businesses located outside the disaster area can request relief by calling the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227.
In addition, a special rule allows both individuals and businesses to choose to deduct uninsured or unreimbursed disaster losses on either the tax return for the year the disaster occurred, or the return for the previous year. For more information, see Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts, available on IRS.gov.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit Ready.gov/September.
- Publication 3067, IRS Disaster Assistance - Federally Declared Disaster Area.
- Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property).
- Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook.
- Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families.
- Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records.
- Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts.
- Reconstructing Records After a Natural Disaster or Casualty Loss.
- Tax Relief in Disaster Situations.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Small Business Administration
Issue Number: COVID Tax Tip 2022-121
How extension filers – and everyone else – can get tax help fast
For people who haven’t filed their 2021 tax return yet, and for everyone looking for tax assistance, IRS.gov has resources to help people file electronically, get personalized tax account info, and find the status of their refund. These online tools are available any time, so taxpayers can use them at their convenience.
Get tax information 24/7
Taxpayers can use IRS.gov to:
- View the filing page to get information on most federal income tax topics.
- Access the Interactive Tax Assistanttool for answers to many tax law questions.
- Sign into their individual IRS online accountto view their balance and tax records, make payments, and manage communication preferences.
- Find information about their tax refunds using the Where's My Refund?
Taxpayers can also download the official IRS mobile app, IRS2Go, to check their refund status, make payments, find free tax preparation assistance, and sign up for helpful tax tips.
Taxpayers who requested an extension to October 17 or missed the April 18 deadline can still prepare and file returns electronically for free with IRS Free File, if they qualify. The IRS accepts electronically filed returns 24/7. There's no reason to wait until October 17 if filers have all the information and documentation, they need to file an accurate return today. They can get their refund faster by choosing direct deposit.
If taxpayers need info about their Economic Impact Payments to determine eligibility for the recovery rebate credit or need to reconcile their advance child tax credit payments, they can go to the Tax Records tab in their IRS online account.
Taxpayers who missed the April 18 deadline and owe should file and pay electronically as soon as possible to reduce penalties and interest. Taxpayers can make payments or set up payment plans online.
Find a taxpayer assistance center
The Taxpayer Assistance Center Locator tool has a new look and feel, featuring a dynamic map, a directions button and two tabs for inputting search criteria. It's important to remember that Taxpayer Assistance Centers operate by appointment only. Taxpayers must make an appointment by calling the number for the office they want to visit.
Read information in other languages
Many IRS webpages are now available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole and Chinese. Some of the multilingual resources include the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, e-file resources and many tax forms and publications.
Access the Alternative Media Center
The online Alternative Media Center has accessible products for use with assistive technology like screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays and screen magnifying software. These products include tax forms, instructions and publications that can be downloaded or viewed online as Section 508 compliant PDFs, HTML, eBraille, text and large print. To request paper copies of tax forms or instructions or publications in Braille or large print, taxpayers can call the tax form telephone number at 800-829-3676. Taxpayers can complete Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference, to receive their IRS tax notices in Braille, large print, audio or electronic formats.
Issue Number: COVID Tax Tip 2022-131
Taxpayers: File when ready, don’t wait until October 17 to file a 2021 tax return
For people who requested an IRS extension to file, the October 17, 2022, deadline may seem far away, but it’s coming up fast. Taxpayers who haven’t filed, whether they requested an extension or not, should file a complete and accurate return as soon as possible. For people who have all their paperwork in hand, filing sooner and filing electronically could help them avoid possible processing delays later.
Here are some resources and information to help taxpayers avoid getting caught up in a last-minute filing rush.
Resources for people preparing their tax return
- IRS.govThe IRS webpage has tools and resources to help taxpayers and answer FAQs.
- Online AccountAccess individual account information to get info from the most recently filed tax return, including adjusted gross income, Economic Impact Payments and advance child tax credit payments.
- Interactive Tax Assistant Taxpayers can enter their info to get answers for their specific tax situation. This tool can determine if an individual must file a tax return, their filing status, if they can claim a dependent, if an income type is taxable, and their eligibility to claim a credit or deduct certain expenses.
- Tax professionalsTax pros can also help taxpayers prepare their tax returns. Authorized IRS e-file providers are qualified to prepare, transmit and process e-filed returns. Taxpayers should choose a tax preparer wisely. The IRS online directory can help people find a local tax pro.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programThe IRS's VITA program offers free basic tax return preparation to people who generally make $58,000 or less and people with disabilities or limited English-speaking taxpayers. Most sites are only open during the filing season, but taxpayers can use the VITA Site Locator tool to see if there's a community-based site staffed by IRS-trained and certified volunteers still open near them.
Taxpayers can file electronically for the fastest turnaround.
E-filing is fast, accurate and secure. When taxpayers choose direct deposit, their refund goes directly into their bank account. The IRS processes most e-filed returns and issues direct deposit refunds in less than 21 days.
- IRS Free FileEligible individuals can use the IRS Free File program to prepare and file their 2021 federal tax return for free. Taxpayers can choose the brand-name tax preparation software company that is best for them. Some companies even offer free state tax return preparation. Those who earned more than $73,000 have the option to use IRS Free File Fillable Forms.
- MilTax online softwareMilTax online software is also available for members of the military and certain veterans, regardless of income. This software is offered through the Department of Defense.
- Commercial softwareThe software uses a question-and-answer format that makes doing taxes easier. The return is signed electronically and transmitted through IRS-approved electronic channels.
An extension to file a tax return is not an extension to pay taxes.
Taxpayers who owe taxes can review all payment options online. The IRS has options for people who can't pay their taxes, including applying for a payment plan on IRS.gov. Here are some other things to know:
- Generally, there’s no penalty for not filing a return if due a refund, but there's also no statute of limitations for assessing and collecting taxes due if no return has been filed.
- Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the April due date and will accrue until paid in full. Penalties will accrue for each month tax remains unpaid until maxed out at 25% of the unpaid tax.
- Submitting a tax return and paying the amount owed as soon as possible can help taxpayers avoid further interest and penalties.
Remember the easiest way to find answers about your tax filings is to make an account on-line with IRS. You will have access to your tax filing information, any IRS letters sent to you, any balance dues, refunds, or any special payments made to you ie. Stimulus payments. With your account you will have faster access then calling IRS and waiting on hold for a IRS rep to answer. Moyock Office will be happy to answer any question, explain the information on your account, and assist in calling IRS. Our Tuesday office hours 10am – 4pm will continue until the last Tuesday in October. We will then close for our tax pros to take the classes required to better serve you in filing you 2022 tax return. We will open on January 2, 2023, our hours the first week will be 9am – 6pm. You can contact us at either 252-435-1040 or 252-338-2157.