By Josh Claywell
Tax season is back and a local accountant is urging LaRue County residents to be patient when it comes to getting their tax returns this year.
Scott Clemons, an accountant at Tax Xpress in Hodgenville, said the Internal Revenue Service is dealing with a backlog of returns due to changes in tax laws over the past two years and it may take taxpayers longer. to collect their refunds.
Most of the backlog issues relate to stimulus payments from the federal government last year. Taxpayers are saying they didn’t get the stimulus money when they actually did, and it’s leading to a system crash.
“Be patient with any changes. The IRS typically does about a million returns year-over-year, as long as they’re still working on it,” Clemons said. “If you said you didn’t receive the (stimulus) money and you’ve done it, your return will be delayed and that’s causing all these delays, so be patient.
“They check the returns diligently, looking for accuracy, because free money is good, but it’s not really free. The taxpayers will eventually pay. But this money that they give to each taxpayer, if it’s not fair, they’ll delay your tax return.Patience is the key to your tax refunds this year.
Each resident received a one-time payment of $1,400 for single taxpayers and $2,800 for married couples when filing jointly.
That money isn’t taxable, but it needs to be reported on this year’s taxes, Clemons said, so the IRS can get a payment to anyone who might not have received it in March.
As the season picks up, he said it’s one of the first questions Tax Xpress clients ask when they go to file their taxes. Additionally, each taxpayer should have received a letter in the mail from the White House regarding the stimulus payment and will be required to file this year.
If you no longer have access to that letter, Clemons said the best way to get a new copy is to request one through the IRS website.
Another major change concerns the advance payment of the child tax credit. As part of the 2021 US bailout, advance payments of up to half of the child tax credit have been sent to eligible taxpayers. Families received up to $3,600 for children 5 and under and $3,000 for children 6-17. This money should also be declared on this year’s taxes.
There are several other changes that are in effect for 2021 only. For a complete list of these and explanations of the changes, visit the IRS website.
For that reason, Clemons urged anyone with children, owning a business or operating a farm to have their taxes filed by a professional this year. He knows that there are several free resources available, but he is not sure about their accuracy in the end.
“I strongly recommend that they get an accountant like me or a tax professional to help them because they don’t want to miss out on what they deserve,” he said. “I just don’t know how accurate these pay-as-you-go software are. We have tax knowledge and our software, and we put everything in there.
“But if you don’t fill out the answers correctly, it’s going to jump and you won’t get the credits you deserved. So they really need to hire some professional to prepare their taxes.”
The deadline for filing tax returns for 2021 is April 18.