‘The IRS Lost My Tax Return’: What You Should Do To Get Your Refund Money Back

Yes, it’s no joke that the IRS can lose your tax return. 

If you have completed your tax return and sent it to the IRS, but they then say they never received it — don’t panic. We’re here to help you, and remember, you’re not the only one caught up in this frustrating and worrying situation. 

We all know it’s not your fault, but this is Uncle Sam we’re dealing with, so keep reading to learn how to fix this problem and claim your refund back.

What should I do if the IRS lost my tax return? 

If you got a notice from the IRS saying that they never received your tax return (they most likely did receive it and lost it in the system), respond and do what they request you to do ASAP. They will likely ask you to resend a signed copy of your tax return. 

In case the IRS didn’t contact you, what you should do next depends on the original method you opted to file your tax return.

  • If you e-filed your tax return:

Whether you filed your tax return directly on the IRS website or through a third-party tax company or service like TurboTax or H&R Block, log into the account that you used to file your tax and check the status of your return. 

  • If your return was rejected: you would need to either correct the issues causing the rejections and e-file your return again or file the return by mail.
  • If the return was accepted: find and write down your declaration control number (DCN). It is a 14-digit number that is given to each tax return. Then contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 and tell them your DCN and the date you e-filed.

BONUS TIP: How to call the IRS 

To contact the IRS, dial 800-829-1040 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday. 

After choosing your language (press 1 for English), do NOT choose option 1, “Refund,” otherwise, you’ll be directed to an automated phone line. Instead, press 2 for “Personal Income Tax.” Then, press 1 for “Form, Tax History, or Payment,” ? press 3 “for all other questions,” ? press 2 “for all other questions.”  

After that, you should be connected with an agent.

  • If you sent your tax return by post:

If you mailed your return, print another copy and re-mail it to the IRS. Any copies of Forms W-2 for the return should be attached. If you paid the tax you owed, include a copy of your canceled check and confirmation of processed payment 

Sometimes, you may need to prove that you did put your return in the mail and sent it, so it’s best to use certified or registered mail. This way, you will be able to track your document and have a paper trail confirming you have sent it by post. 

More importantly, keep all of your receipts and photocopies of the envelope with a postmark or anything that can prove you sent it. They will serve as your concrete evidence if you need them to prove your tax return was indeed sent and the IRS lost it. 

If you’re looking for a tool to help you store those vital documents, Shoeboxed is your best choice. Shoeboxed is an online application that can quickly and securely digitize your receipts and documents and store them in the cloud. On top of that, it automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over your records anytime with ease. Shoeboxed ensures it provides you with accurate data and always keeps your receipts securely backed up and ready for tax purposes. 

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What’s next: When will I get my tax refund? 

Once you’ve resolved all the problems related to your returns, you enter the next ‘worrying stage’: When will I get my tax refund? No wonder why everyone hates dealing with taxes. 

Honestly, there’s nothing much you can do apart from waiting to hear from the IRS. According to the IRS, most tax refunds are issued within 21 days, while some may take longer if the return requires further review, which may be prompted by the following issues::

  • Your return includes errors
  • Your return is incomplete.
  • Your return is affected by identity theft or fraud.

The IRS will contact you by mail if extra information is needed to process your tax return.

To track and stay updated about the process of your refund, consider one of the following methods: 

  • Visit Where’s My Refund?: enter your Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), filing status, and the exact amount of your refund to check your refund status. 
  • Download the IRS’s mobile app IRS2go: prepare the same above-mentioned personal information details to track your refund. 
  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 (least recommended because as you probably know, you can easily get stuck waiting to speak to an agent.) 

Final thoughts 

It’s totally understandable if you feel panicked and stressed out when the IRS doesn’t receive your tax return. However, try to remain calm, re-file your tax return or prove to the IRS you did send it, then the IRS should quickly process your refund money.  
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How to File for Tax Return Delays if You Can’t Meet the IRS Deadline

Picture this—you have less than three weeks to file and submit your tax return, but you’re too busy to find the time to do it. Your anxiety and stress levels increase as the tax deadline gets closer. What should you do? 

First, relax and know that you are not the only one experiencing this problem. More importantly, remember that there are ways to deal with late tax filings!

Now that you’ve calmed down, let’s tackle this together. Below, we’ve gathered the most practical solutions and tips on tax return delays so that you can prevent yourself from paying a lot of money for penalties. 

File for a tax return delay (tax extension)

If you know for sure that you won’t be able to make it by the due date, immediately file for a tax extension to avoid any possible penalties. All you need to do is fill in and submit Form 4868 to the IRS either by paper or electronically. 

However, there’s a catch. Filing an extension for tax return delays only allows you more time to file, not more time to pay your tax. In other words, if you owe money to the IRS, you have to estimate and pay at least 90% of your tax liability with your Form 4868. Otherwise, you could face a late-payment penalty. 

When is the deadline to file a tax return delay? 

The deadline to file a tax extension is the same date to file a tax return, which is April 18, 2022. An extension will delay your filing deadline to October 17, 2022. 

What happens if I don’t file a tax return delay? 

This depends on whether you owe money to the IRS or the IRS owes you money. 

  • If you have taxes to pay:

You’ll be fined 4.5-5% per month of the tax amount owed plus interest. The maximum penalty can be up to 25%. 

It’s important to remember that the penalties for failing to file a tax return or requesting a tax extension are more severe than the penalties for not paying your taxes on time (0.5%/month of the tax amount owed plus interest.)

  • If you have a refund:

You won’t suffer from penalties for not filing your tax return by the deadline, even if you don’t submit an extension. However, it might be different for state taxes. 

That being said, you still should get your taxes filed and dealt with on time. This is mainly because you must file a tax return to get your money back. 

How can I know if my tax extension is approved? 

Normally, you will receive an email from the IRS confirming within a day after you e-filed Form 4686. If you sent the tax extension request by post, you won’t receive a confirmation email and will have to call the IRS to check. Otherwise, you can just wait and see — silence means no issues most of the time. The IRS only contacts you if there’s something wrong with your extension. 

Why might my request for tax return delays be rejected? 

Though this situation doesn’t happen too often, there’s still a possibility if you don’t file Form 4686 carefully. For example, if you made spelling mistakes or provided information that doesn’t match IRS records, your request might be turned down. In this case, the IRS will normally give you a few days to correct the errors and resubmit the form. 

Another thing that could lead to rejection is unrealistic tax liability estimates. Not only will you not get an extension, but you might even be fined. 

Can I request a tax payment delay? 

Technically, yes. However, the requirements are very strict. Below is what you need to do in order to have some extra time to pay your income tax: 

  • File Form 1127 and submit it to the IRS on or before the date that the tax is due
  • Provide a complete statement of all your assets and liabilities as of the end of the last month, plus an itemized list of money you received and spent in the three months preceding submitting your request for an extension to pay.
  • Show that paying the tax by the original deadline would cause you extreme hardship (e.g., if you show it only causes inconvenience to you, there’s little chance your request will be accepted)
  • Prove that paying the tax on time would result in a significant financial loss and that you don’t have the money or can’t raise it by selling property or borrowing.

Generally, you will get a six-month extension if your request is approved. Furthermore, the IRS requires some acceptable security before issuing a payment extension. Depending on your circumstance, the security could be in the form of a bond, a notice of lien, or even a mortgage.

Extensions are sometimes granted, particularly in the event of federally declared disasters. 

Additional relief information is available on the IRS Disaster Relief page.

The bottom line 

Filing tax isn’t fun, but there are ways to make the process easier. 

Always try to file your tax return as soon as possible. In case you can’t, try to make a request for tax return delays. Remember that it will only give you more time to file your tax return, not more time to pay your taxes. 

Tax season can be very complex if you’re a business owner. Since most business-related expenses are deductible, you should go over your bookkeeping carefully to make sure you can lower your taxable income as much as possible. Having your receipts available and ready to check will put you at a significant advantage in this case.  

Shoeboxed can help you with that. 

Shoeboxed is an online application that helps you clear your piles of documents and digitize them in just a click. This app automatically extracts and categorizes important data from your receipts, which then get approved by a team of data experts. You can scan your business receipts, manage expenses, store business cards, and track business mileage easily, helping you boost productivity and bring in more revenue. 

Quick, reliable, and trustworthy, Shoeboxed guarantees to organize your receipts in the best way possible! 
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Does The IRS Accept Receipt Scan for Tax Deductions?

As the 2021 tax season comes to an end, the stress is starting to creep up on business owners. Preparations can be taxing on business owners, often involving numerous steps. This includes double-checking accounting records, going over their tax claims to make sure the final numbers are correct, and sorting through piles of receipts that they’ve hung onto to submit to the IRS. If you’re looking to streamline this process by digitizing your receipts, you may be wondering—does the IRS accept your receipt scans? can receipt scans legally support your tax write-offs the same as original paper receipts? 

We are here to put your mind at ease. 

The short answer to your worries is yes. Receipt scans are 100% legitimate and approved by the IRS. In fact, the IRS has accepted scanned and digitized receipts as valid tax records for tax purposes since 1997! As such, scanned receipts must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible. 

Read on to find out if your receipt scans have met all of the IRS’s requirements. 

What are the requirements for a receipt scan to be accepted by the IRS?  

According to the IRS, digital or scanned receipts must meet the following requirements:

  • Receipt scans are completely identical to their original versions.
  • Each receipt scan must exhibit a high degree of legibility and readability. 
  • You must be able to provide hard copies of the scanned receipts in the event of an IRS audit.
  • Scanned documents must be stored in a secure place.

If you can ensure your scanned receipts are properly stored and backed up, and you can reproduce hard copies from them in a legible, readable format, you may dispose of the original receipts. 

You might also be interested in: Understanding the IRS’s Tax Underpayment Penalty and How to Avoid It.

What is the most effective way to scan your receipts? 

If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to scan your receipts, Shoeboxed is what you need. Since 2007, Shoeboxed has helped many accountants, freelancers, and businesses scan, digitize and store their receipts safely in the cloud. Simply scan your receipts with your phone with just a click, and perfect digital versions of your paper receipts will appear in your Shoeboxed app!

On top of that, Shoeboxed automatically extracts, categorizes, and human-verifies important data from your receipts so that you can go over and check your records anytime with ease. 

In case you have too many receipts and too little time to deal with them, send your piles of documents using the Shoeboxed Magic Envelope, and the Shoeboxed team will take care of the rest. Just send and watch them transform into organized digital data.  

Quick, reliable, and trustworthy, Shoeboxed guarantees that the digital versions of your receipts are in precise format, audit-ready, and accepted by the IRS in the event of an audit.
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