People who are not eligible for a Social Security number must use individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) if they have tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law. Periodically and under certain circumstances, these ITINs expire and should be renewed as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays related to tax refunds next year.
Tax-related ID theft occurs when someone uses a taxpayer’s stolen personal information to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Thieves then use personal information like a stolen Social Security number. While the accounting profession and IRS work hard to prevent identity theft, taxpayers also play an important role.
As tax-filing season gets underway, taxpayers may be anticipating receiving their refund by a certain date, especially if they plan on making major purchases or paying bills. While some tax returns are processed quickly, others may require additional review. As such, those refunds may take longer.
Just as each tax return is unique and individual, so is each taxpayer’s refund. Here is what taxpayers should keep in mind as they are waiting for their refund – especially if they hear about or see that other taxpayers on social media have already received theirs.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted in December 2017, limited the itemized deduction for state and local taxes to $5,000 for a married person filing a separate return and $10,000 for all other tax filers. The limit applies to tax years 2018 to 2025.
As in prior years, if a taxpayer chose the standard deduction then state and local tax refunds are not subject to tax. However, if a taxpayer itemizes deductions for that year on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, part or all of the refund may be subject to tax – but only to the extent that the taxpayer received a tax benefit from the deduction.
ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) are used by people who have tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law but who are not eligible for a Social Security number. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire Dec. 31, 2019. Furthermore, ITINs with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 that have not already been renewed will also expire at the end of the year. Others do not need to take any action.
Surprised by a Small or Non-Existent 2019 Tax Refund? You’re Not Alone
When tax season rolls around, the news media goes into overdrive: sharing everything from restaurants that offer Tax Day deals to last minute tax-saving tips.
This year? The headlines have taxpayers feeling nervous: “If your tax refund is smaller or you owe taxes, CPAs explain why,” reads a NOLA.com article with many comments. “Seven reasons why your 2019 tax refund is so small,” makes the front page of the Sonoma Valley Sun.
So, what changed in 2018 to generate this taxpayer alarm over 2019 tax refunds?
Certain veterans who received disability severance payments after January 17, 1991, and included that payment as income that they should file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim a credit or refund of the overpayment attributable to the disability severance payment. The refund is the result of the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act passed in 2016.