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Tracking Paper Filed Return


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We prepared a final 1040 for a deceased taxpayer that was due a substantial refund.  The return was completed June 3, 2020 and mailed June 4, return receipt requested. The receipt shows the return was received June 18.  However, the refund tracker on the IRS website shows that the information entered to track a refund is incorrect.  I don't know if this means the IRS has not processed the return into their system, or that the refund tracker cannot be used because the taxpayer is deceased.  One of the executors called the IRS and was unable to get any additional information about the status of the return. 

Does anyone know more about how the tracker works?  Or a way to find out where in the process a paper filed return is? 

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Until the return has been entered into the IRS computers it will not show up on the refund tracker.  The IRS is soooo far behind in processing anything paper, it will still be a long time before refund comes.  I don't know of any other way to check on it until someone starts processing it.

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19 hours ago, ETax847 said:

Agreed.  They keep suggesting that I e-file their amended return.  I'm holding off as I dont want to confuse the IRS or have them process two returns.  

I'm in the same situation.  I keep checking the amended return status and nothing shows up.  I don't see anything on irs.gov about the progress of irs in processing paper returns.

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2 hours ago, ETax847 said:

Randall, are you considering filing an electronic return if its not in the system with another two months?

I'm not sure.  As someone else said, I don't want to mix up two returns.  But I'm wondering about it by the end of the year.

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If an amended return is filed before the original is processed, the amended return will get held up as well, as there will not yet be any information from the original for the amended date to be applied to.   Better to wait until the original is processed, otherwise the amended could be shunted off to electronic limbo and the changes never applied.

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I want to switch gears a moment. TP file 2016 with refund being carried over to 2017. Service has not processed 2016 as it was paper filed on time. Now service sends TP backup withhold letter for 2017. It took them 32 months to process 2015 to get the correct c/o to 2016. Do I prepare a file a 2017 showing the c/o from 2016 knowing that the service is not going to see that c/o until they process 2016. TP will get notice saying his payments are not correct. More letters to come. What to do?

In meantime For above post I would not file an amended return.

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15 hours ago, Max W said:

If an amended return is filed before the original is processed, the amended return will get held up as well, as there will not yet be any information from the original for the amended date to be applied to.   Better to wait until the original is processed, otherwise the amended could be shunted off to electronic limbo and the changes never applied.

Max, in my case, the original was efiled and accepted.  An amended return was paper filed in May.  Now with the recent ability to efile an amended return for 2019, I'm wondering if I could efile the amended return before the paper amended return gets processed.  I think that's what Etax847 is also wondering about.

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15 hours ago, TAXMAN said:

I want to switch gears a moment. TP file 2016 with refund being carried over to 2017. Service has not processed 2016 as it was paper filed on time. Now service sends TP backup withhold letter for 2017. It took them 32 months to process 2015 to get the correct c/o to 2016. Do I prepare a file a 2017 showing the c/o from 2016 knowing that the service is not going to see that c/o until they process 2016. TP will get notice saying his payments are not correct. More letters to come. What to do?

In meantime For above post I would not file an amended return.

I'm not sure I understand everything here but it sounds like a letter of explanation would be the better approach.  Explaining the co which hasn't been processed yet, include copies of appropriate pages, etc.

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When the IRS flags a taxpayer as deceased, certain features of IRS websites are blocked. You may never see it on 'where's my refund'. I know for sure you can't download transcripts for deceased taxpayers, which really sucks. If I see an obit for a client and I have a POA for that client, I immediately login and download all the latest transcripts before the IRS cuts me off.

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1 hour ago, Abby Normal said:

When the IRS flags a taxpayer as deceased, certain features of IRS websites are blocked. You may never see it on 'where's my refund'. I know for sure you can't download transcripts for deceased taxpayers, which really sucks. If I see an obit for a client and I have a POA for that client, I immediately login and download all the latest transcripts before the IRS cuts me off.

Actually I have loaded transcripts for deceased taxpayers IF I have a POA from the executor/CTA for the estate.  But the POA signed by the taxpayer is no longer valid once they are deceased. 

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On 9/14/2020 at 3:30 PM, ETax847 said:

I had a client file an amended return by paper in April and it still is not in the IRS system.  I'm running out of patience as they call me every monday asking for an update and I have no news to report.

I too filed an amended return in April.  FWIW,  I spoke to an agent on practitioner line (who could not find the return), and he said to expect an additional 16 weeks from August 1st.  Hopefully the client will have a Happy Thanksgiving, as will I.

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21 hours ago, Gail in Virginia said:

Actually I have loaded transcripts for deceased taxpayers IF I have a POA from the executor/CTA for the estate.  But the POA signed by the taxpayer is no longer valid once they are deceased. 

My experience has been different, but maybe the IRS has fixed eservices. What happens when I fax a POA sign by the personal representative/executor along with supporting letters of appointment or POA, it lets me download the transcript but instead of the info being there, it's just a message that the info is unavailable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a taxpayer who hadn't filed several years, and all had to be paper filed because he can find his PIN, and can't remember his info dating back to that time to verify it's him. I've filed the returns three times on paper in the last 18 months and NONE have been processed. Meanwhile, he's getting threatening notices, and calls to the practitioner hotline have met with no help.

I also have one particular POA that I've submitted FOUR times in 6 months and still has not been processed. I obtained the info I needed from wage transcripts by calling the practitioner's hotline, and they promised they would send it to the CAF unit. That was 2 months ago. 

I don't know if it's truly just problematic to get paper processed, or if they're throwing things out, or just using COVID as an excuse to not do anything, but it makes doing our REALLY difficult. 

It's just taking forever for everything on paper.

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