Here's What Happens After You File
April 7, 2010 – Special Edition TT-2010-68
Most taxpayers have already filed their federal tax returns, but many may still have questions. Here's what the IRS wants you to know about refund status, recordkeeping, mistakes and what to do if you move.
You can go online to check the status of your 2009 refund 72 hours after IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or 3 to 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. Be sure to have a copy of your 2009 tax return available because you will need to know your filing status, the first Social Security number shown on the return, and the exact whole-dollar amount of the refund. You have three options for checking on your refund:
- Go to IRS.gov, and click on "Where's My Refund"
- Call 1-800-829-4477 24 hours a day, seven days a week for automated refund information
- Call 1-800-829-1954 during the hours shown in your tax form instructions
What Records Should I Keep?
Normally, tax records should be kept for three years, but some documents – such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRAs and business or rental property – should be kept longer.
You should keep copies of tax returns you have filed and the tax forms package as part of your records. They may be helpful in amending already filed returns or preparing future returns.
Change of Address
If you move after you filed your return, you should send Form 8822, Change of Address to the Internal Revenue Service. If you are expecting a refund through the mail, you should also file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service.
What If I Made a Mistake?
Errors may delay your refund or result in notices being sent to you. If you discover an error on your return, you can correct your return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
Visit IRS.gov for more information on refunds, recordkeeping, address changes and amended returns.
All TaxACT users can amend their federal return via Form 1040X in TaxACT Deluxe. Remember, you do not need to amend your return for simple math errors; the IRS will correct them. If you're entitled to a refund, wait to amend your return until after you've received your refund. Finally, you'll need to verify with your state whether the change to your federal return necessitates an amended state return.
Instructions for amending your federal return with TaxACT can be found here.