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My tax return has been filed, now what?

Your tax return has been successfully filed with the IRS, and you may be done thinking about your taxes until next year. Or you may still have some questions, such as, “When will I get my refund?”, “Can I throw my tax documents away now?” and “Can I still get a refund for that tax credit or deduction I didn’t claim?” Here are some answers to these frequently asked questions.

 

When will I get my refund?

If you want to check the status of your refund, the IRS has an excellent online tool. Search irs.gov and select the ‘Get Your Refund Status’ option. In order to complete the search, you will need your Social Security number, Filing Status, and exact refund amount. All this information can be found on the return provided to you by your tax professional.

 

Can I throw my tax documents away now?

We recommend that, at a minimum, you hold onto your tax record for as long as the IRS can assess for additional taxes or audit your tax return. The statute of limitations for the IRS to complete either of these actions is three years preceding filing your return. With that being said, you can generally get rid of information related to tax returns for the years 2019 and earlier. An exception to the above statement is if the taxpayer understates their gross income by more than 25%, then the statute of limitations is six years. Meaning taxpayers can get rid of information for tax years 2016 and earlier.

Certain tax records should be held on for longer. Taxpayers should hold onto actual tax returns indefinitely to prove to the IRS legitimate returns have been filed.  In terms of retirement accounts, documents should be kept until the account has been depleted and the last withdrawal has been reported on your tax return, plus three to six years. For real estate and investment records, retain documentation for as long as you own the assets, plus three years following the sale or disposal of the asset.

 

Can I still get a refund for that tax credit or deduction I didn’t claim?

Yes, you can amend your tax return and claim a refund within three years after the date the original return was filed or two years after the date the taxes were paid, whichever the later. Although, there are few opportunities where you can take a longer time period to file an amended return.

 

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