What Happens After You File Your Taxes

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.

 

Tax Refund Information

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:

  • 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 instruction

 

What Tax 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 for IRS

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.

  • Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals
  • Form 8822, Change of Address
  • Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Did You Move or About To Move?

Five Tips for Taxpayers Making a Move

If you’ve changed your home or business address, make sure you update that information with the IRS to ensure you receive any refunds or correspondence from the IRS.

1. How to Change Your Address You can change your address on file with the IRS in several ways:

  • Correct the address legibly on the mailing label that comes with your tax package;
  • Write the new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return;
  • Use Form 8822, Change of Address, to submit an address or name change any time during the year;
  • Give the IRS written notification of your new address by writing to the IRS center where you file your return. Include your full name, old and new addresses, Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number and signature. If you filed a joint return, be sure to include the information for both taxpayers. If you filed a joint return and have since established separate residences, both taxpayers should notify the IRS of your new addresses; and
  • Should an IRS employee contact you about your account, you may be able to verbally provide a change of address.

2. Notify Your Employer Be sure to also notify your employer of your new address so you get your W-2 forms on time.

3. Notify the Post Office If you change your address after you’ve filed your return, don’t forget to notify the post office at your old address so your mail can be forwarded.

4. Estimated Tax Payments If you make estimated tax payments throughout the year, you should mail a completed Form 8822, Change of Address, or write the IRS campus where you file your return. You may continue to use your old pre-printed payment vouchers until the IRS sends you new ones with your new address. However, do not correct the address on the old voucher.

5. Postal Service The IRS does use the Postal Service’s change of address files to update taxpayer addresses, but it’s still a good idea to notify the IRS directly.

Visit IRS.gov for more information about changing your address. At IRS.gov, you can also find the address of the IRS center where you file your tax return or download Form 8822, Change of Address. The form is also available by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

 

IRS Links on Moving Expenses: