The Frustration of Tax Myths vs Tax Facts

The internet is a plethora of information where one can find information on any subject at any time, day or night. Unfortunately, much of the information needs to have full research due to opinionated posts on websites, blogs or social media pages. Here are some of the most common tax myths and facts that have been circulating this tax season:

Myth: I was paid in cash, so I don’t need to report my income.

Fact: You are required report all income whether it was cash, direct deposit, tips, bonuses, dividends or other pay types.

Myth: I have a code 152 on the Where’s My Refund Application. This means that my return will be approved within the next couple of days and I’ll have my refund faster.

Fact: The Where’s My Refund application is a convenient tool for taxpayers to use instead of attempting to call the IRS for information that a representative may not have. A 152 code is generally listed at the bottom of every taxpayers Where’s My Refund page and is a standard code that simply tells taxpayers the various ways that they are able to receive refunds.

Myth: The bars on my Where’s My Refund page have disappeared. This means that I should have my refund fast and that my return is being reviewed right at this moment for approval.

Fact: Websites tend to have minor glitches, and when your bars vanish on the Where’s My Refund application, it’s just a simple “glitch” on the page and has absolutely nothing to do with refund status.

Myth: If you can get your tax transcript you can get a number from it and see exactly when you will receive your refund.

Fact: Every tax transcript is as different as the people they belong to. Tax transcripts are generally used for income verification, student loans, mortgage and investment loans and other financial areas that need proof of income. An individual tax transcript will not tell a person when they will receive a refund.

Myth: I don’t need to report winnings from a casino or lottery tickets.

Fact: If you have won money then you must report your winnings.

Myth: If I call the IRS and speak to an agent they can tell me if my return has been approved and exactly when I will receive my refund.

Fact: If you have filed your taxes and they have not yet been approved, speaking to a representative on the telephone will most likely not assist with gaining knowledge of your current year tax return. Agents that answer the phone lines have limited information for security purposes. Even if you wait the 21 days after filing, agents are only allowed to speak to you about certain criteria and you will most likely be told that your return is processing and that if anything is found to be wrong with it, the IRS will notify you by standard postal mail with instructions on what to do.

The key to tax season is to have patience and a full understanding that a fast refund shouldn’t be expected. Don’t spend money or make plans to spend money that has not yet been approved and already deposited to your bank account. Chatting with others via social media pages that pertain to tax returns is nice to build up comradery and socialize, but be sure not to take everything posted as a hard fact. Keep in mind that the people posting are in the same situation as you. They all want to see a refund as quickly as possible and many will begin speculating on laws, codes and deposit dates. When you need real answers to your tax inquiries, you should always seek advice from a licensed tax professional. 

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