Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Important Information Regarding Filing Deadlines

This blog contains some important information regarding end of season filing dates, extensions, and bank cutoff dates.  Please take the time to read it and contact Refunds Today Support should you have any questions.

Tax Year 2015 Filing Deadlines

2015 e-file Calendar
Filing Deadline
Last date for transmitting timely filed returns (MA and/or ME returns - April 19, 2016)
April 18, 2016
Last date for transmitting timely filed Forms 4868
April 18, 2016
Last date for re-transmitting rejected timely filed returns
April 23, 2016
Last date for re-transmitting rejected timely filed Forms 4868
April 23, 2016
Last date to submit new IRS e-file Applications
No cut-off date
Last date for transmitting returns on extension from Form 4868
October 17, 2016
Last date for re-transmitting rejected late or returns on extension from Form 4868
October 22, 2016

Extensions

Don't miss out on one of the last chances to increase your Income Tax profits! Begin e-filing your client's Federal Form 4868 extensions.  You can increase your profits and provide better customer service by offering your clients the peace of mind that 4868 e-filing provides.
  • Assurance that the IRS will receive the extension on time, as you will receive an IRS acknowledgement receipt
  • Assurance that the extension will not be "lost in the mail"
  • Relief in knowing neither you nor your clients will have to wait in long lines at the post office
  • Best of all, it's fast and easy to e-file extensions

4868 General Information

It is suggested to submit any extensions at the latest by 10:00 PM YOUR local time on April 18th although the IRS deadline is 11:00 PM. The last day to retransmit rejected timely filed Forms 1040 or Extension Forms 4868 and gain IRS acceptance is Saturday, April 23rd , 2016.  The cost for each E-filed extension is $5.00.
Detailed instructions for successfully filing Form 4868 can be found on the Refunds Today website under Support > Miscellaneous Forms.

Check Form 4868 Statuses

1.     Checking Extension Form 4868 Status
a.     Click on Reports > Reports List > IRS Extension Summary. Click OK.
b.     Default Report Criteria should display Extensions filed. Click OK to view all extensions filed.
c.     This report will show all accepted or rejected 4868 returns.
Note:    This report is used to check the "EF Status" of Extension Forms 4868.

Making Payments

Electronic Funds Withdrawal

The Refunds Today software supports electronic funds withdrawal with Form 4868. If the taxpayer is filing an extension, they are still required to make any payment due by April 18th. On the Main Information Worksheet under the Self-Select and Practitioner Pin(s) section, be sure to select the Form 4868 with Direct Debit in both places. Make sure to enter the PIN information for this type of return.

Mailing a Payment

If the taxpayer mails the payment, Form 1040-V is not required. The taxpayer simply needs to write their Social Security number, daytime telephone number, and "2015 Form 4868" on the check or money order.

Credit/Debit Card Payments

For the 2015 filing season, the IRS supports the following e-pay service providers for both electronic and paper filers. Each company has its own convenience fee schedule, and each offers both phone and Internet payment services. A full list can be found on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card

Service Provider
Telephone
(English/Spanish)
Website
Convenience Fees
(Credit Card)
Convenience Fees
(ATM/Debit-Card)
Customer Service Number
Link2Gov Corporation
1-888-PAY1040tm
(1-888-729-1040)
1.87%
$2.59
1-888-658-5465
WorldPay US, Inc.
1-844-729-8298
1.99%
$2.69
1-855-508-0159
(live operator)
1-844-825-8729
(automated - 24/7)
Official Payments Corporation
1-888-UPAY-TAXtm
(1-888-872-9829)
2.25%
$2.50 ($3.95 flat fee over $1,000)
1-877-754-4413

Bank Product Deadlines

BANK
Phone Number
Last Day to Apply
Site Printed Check
ACH - Direct Deposit
Check Stale Date
TPG
800-779-7228
10/20/2016
10/31/2016
12/31/2016
90 Days after printing
Refund Advantage
800-967-4934
Year Round
Year Round
Year Round
12/31/2016
River City
888-820-7848
12/9/2016
6/15/2016
12/31/2016
6/17/2016
Republic
866-491-1040
10/15/2016
6/1/2016
12/31/2016
6/30 or 90 Days after checks are printed

If you have any questions, please contact the Refunds Today Support Staff at 323-261-0240.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How to Stay On Top of Your E-Files

With the filing deadline fast approaching, now is the time to make sure you stay on top of the returns you file.  These few reports will allow you to see returns that have been transmitted to both the IRS and the State, as well as returns that have been rejected by the IRS, the State, or the filing center.  With these, you will have the information you need to confidently help your clients.
Returns Submitted and Awaiting IRS Acknowledgment - Make sure you transmit to the filing center to pick up the latest acknowledgement files and that you process the acknowledgement file(s).
  • From the Main Page, click on Reports > Reports List
  • Choose Awaiting IRS Acks Summary and Click OK 
  • Do not change the search criteria and Click OK
  • Report will display all returns waiting for an IRS Acknowledgement
IMPORTANT - After getting and processing all your acknowledgements, if you see a return in this report that has a "Date Sent" more than 2 days ago, please contact customer service and we will assist you in re-transmitting the return. 
Returns Submitted and Awaiting State Acknowledgment - Again, make sure you transmit and process your acknowledgements. 
  • From the Main Page, click on Reports > Reports List
  • Choose Awaiting State Acks Summary and Click OK 
  • Do not change the search criteria and Click OK
  • Report will display and show all returns waiting for a State Acknowledgement
IMPORTANT - State returns are NOT being transmitted until the Federal return is accepted. You will see a small 'lock" next to these returns. Once the Federal return is accepted, this 'lock" will disappear and the return will be queued for transmission. All States with the exception of CA and MA allow the ERO to "unlink" the Federal from the State return and submit separately.
Returns Rejected by the IRS or the Filing Center - Again, make sure you transmit and process your acknowledgements. 
  • From the Main Page, click on Reports > Reports List
  • Choose Outstanding Rejected Returns and Click OK
  • Do not change the search criteria and Click OK
  • Report will show all rejected returns from both the IRS and the filing center.
Any reject code will be displayed in the last column.  Detailed information on the specific reject, either IRS, State, or Filing Center, can be found in the acknowledgment reports printed for that day or by pressing CTRL-Q, searching for the SSN, and clicking on the Reject tab. 
E-File Status and Federal E-File Summary - Again, make sure you transmit and process your acknowledgements.
  • From the Main Page, click on Reports > Reports List
  • Choose IRS Electronic Filing Summary and Click OK
  • Do not change the search criteria and Click OK
  • Report will show the current E-File status of all returns in your system.
  • As this may be a large report, you may want to export to Excel for sort functionality.
Use this report to review any return that you expect to have "IRS Accepted" under the E-File Status, but currently shows a different status.  The final page of the report will provide you with a summary of all e-files created, accepted, and rejected.
State E-File Status - Again, make sure you transmit and process your acknowledgements.
  • From the Main Page, click on Reports > Reports List
  • Choose State E-File Status and Click OK
  • Do not change the search criteria and Click OK
  • Report will show the current E-File status of State returns in your system.
  • As this may be a large report, you may want to export to Excel for sort functionality.
Use this report to review any return that you expect to have "State Accepted" under the E-File Status, but currently shows a different status.  The final page of the report will provide you with a summary of all State e-files created, accepted, and rejected.


Refunds Today Customer Support

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Illinois Department of Revenue Holding Refunds until March 1

Illinois Security Measures Enacted; IL-1040 Refund Release Date ImpactedThe Illinois Department of Revenue is taking additional steps to protect Illinois taxpayers from identity theft and fraud. To ensure the security and confidentiality of taxpayer information, the Department has initiated a review process to combat against fraudulently filed returns. As a result of the new security measures, refunds may take longer to process this year than in previous years.

For more information, please visit the Illinois Department of Revenue's Refund Delay FAQ page: http://www.revenue.state.il.us/individuals/RefundDelay.htm

NC Begins Processing Efiles Jan 28th

The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) will officially open the
2016 tax filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on Jan. 28. The Internal
Revenue Service began accepting returns on Jan. 19.

EROs began filing NC returns along with federal returns Jan. 19th, but NC will not begin processing those efiles until Jan 28th.

Acknowledgements will not be seen until February 1st, at the earliest, and anticipated refunds will follow afterwards.

Refer to this NC DOR website for updated information and full details.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

IRS rejects 361, 370, 371, 372 - Hold the returns

IRS has asked that EROs hold returns rejected for the following efiles until IRS updates their business rules. 

For 1040 Returns

F1040-370-03
If Form 1040, Line 51 'RtrSavingsContributionsCrAmt' has a non-zero value and Line 1 checkbox "Single" or Line 3 checkbox "Married filing separately" or Line 5 checkbox "Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child" is checked (element 'IndividualReturnFilingStatusCd' has a value of 1, 3 or 5), then Line 37 'AdjustedGrossIncomeAmt' must not be greater than 30000 

F1040-371-03
If Form 1040, Line 51 'RtrSavingsContributionsCrAmt' has a non-zero value and Line 4 checkbox "Head of household" is checked (element 'IndividualReturnFilingStatusCd' has the value 4), then Line 37 'AdjustedGrossIncomeAmt' must not be greater than 45000 

F1040-372-03 
If Form 1040, Line 51 'RtrSavingsContributionsCrAmt' has a non-zero value and Line 2 checkbox "Married filing jointly" is checked (element 'IndividualReturnFilingStatusCd' has the value 2), then Line 37 'AdjustedGrossIncomeAmt' must not be greater than 60000



For 1040A Returns

F1040A-370-03
If Form 1040A, Line 34 'RtrSavingsContributionsCrAmt' has a non-zero value and Line 1 checkbox "Single" or Line 3 checkbox "Married filing separately" or Line 5 checkbox "Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child" is checked (element 'IndividualReturnFilingStatusCd' has a value of 1, 3 or 5), then Line 21 'AdjustedGrossIncomeAmt' must not be greater than 30000. 

F1040A-371-03
If Form 1040A, Line 34 'RtrSavingsContributionsCrAmt' has a non-zero value and Line 4 checkbox "Head of household" is checked (element 'IndividualReturnFilingStatusCd' has the value 4), then Line 21 'AdjustedGrossIncomeAmt' must not be greater than 45000. 

F1040A-372-03
If Form 1040A, Line 34 'RtrSavingsContributionsCrAmt' has a non-zero value and Line 2 checkbox "Married filing jointly" is checked (element 'IndividualReturnFilingStatusCd' has the value 2), then Line 21 'AdjustedGrossIncomeAmt' must not be greater than 60000. 
F1040-361-04 – Deals with Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credit)



Currently there is no ETA for IRS to correct these Business Rules.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 Quick Refund Estimator Available!

Refunds Today is proud to announce the release of the 2015 Quick Refund Estimator.  This time saving tool will allow you to prepare an estimate of your client's anticipated refund in just seconds!!!! 
This product is included with all Plus and Premier software packages and is available NOW. For those in the Basic or Standard packages, a trial version is also available.  To download the 2015 Quick Refund Estimator, full or trial version, login to the Refunds Today website at www.refundstoday.com and click on the Downloads section. You'll find the appropriate download link in the Other Module Updates section in the Left pane.

Below are a few outstanding features of the Refunds Today Quick Refund Estimator:

• Updated to reflect current tax law changes.
• Simply enter: filing status, number of dependents, W-2 information, and Health Insurance information.
• The Quick Refund Estimator calculates: 2015 estimated Federal Tax, Child Care Credit, Child Tax Credit, EIC, Additional Child Tax Credit, Additional Medicare Tax, Net Investment Income Tax, Self-Employment Tax, Estimated Federal Refund and even EIC Combat pay.
• Estimates Health Insurance Penalty for households without health insurance coverage for 2015 and 2016.
• Provides a client letter concerning the estimated federal tax and includes a liability disclaimer to be signed by the client or prospective client.
• Good for computing estimates and for double-checking the accuracy of tax return entries into the Refunds Today Software.

New in 2015

• Additional health care penalty calculations visible on Main screen
• Healthcare penalty screen now allows calculations based on the number of months without coverage instead of assuming no coverage for the entire year. 
• Healthcare penalty carries from the worksheet and is now included as part of the refund / balance due
• Client letter updated and reorganized

If you don't have the Plus or Premier package, you can purchase the 2015 Quick Refund Estimator for as little as $50.  Better yet, we'll let you "Try it before you buy it" with our Trial Version download (see above). Once you reach the maximum number of trial estimates, you will be provided with a link that will allow you to purchase and download the FULL unlimited version of the Refunds Today Quick Refund Estimator. Or, at any time, you can logon to the Refunds Today website at www.refundstoday.com and click on 2015 Catalog to purchase.   


If you have any questions or any issues with downloading the 2015 Refunds Today Tax Estimator, please do not hesitate to contact Refunds Today at 323-261-0240

Deadline Approaching for Voluntary IRS Registration

As you already know, the IRS has launched a new program that promotes the importance of education and filing season preparedness. The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) has had a HUGE response from the Tax Professional community regarding this education and certification, much more than originally expected. Those who complete the required amount of continuing education credits, covering such topics as ethics, tax law updates, federal tax law, and tax filing issues, and pass a comprehensive test, will receive a "Record of Completion" AND be listed in a database on the IRS website.  The deadline to complete this course is 12/31/2015.  Don't be the only preparer in your area not to be listed on the IRS website!

Tax Professionals who elect to participate in the program would receive the following benefits:
  • The IRS will issue a "Record of Completion" once all requirements are fulfilled.
  • Inclusion in the "Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications" on the IRS.gov website to help taxpayers determine return preparer qualifications.
  • Beginning January, 2016, only non-credentialed tax return preparers who have a record of completion under the Annual Filing Season Program will be permitted to represent taxpayers before the IRS during an examination of a return that they signed or prepared.
Refunds Today has created an IRS approved AFSP course which covers all required topics to comply with the new IRS education platform.  Simply login to the Refunds Today website at www.refundstoday.com, click on the 2015 Catalog tab and select IRS AFSP Continuing Education under the Tax Education section. Our Full IRS AFSP Continuing Education Course is only $99.

For more information regarding this new program, please click on the following link that will direct you to the IRS website.
http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Annual-Filing-Season-Program

If you have any questions about the AFSP course or our offering, please contact your Sales Executive at 877-334-5366.