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Gail in Virginia

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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It is just hard for the executors to be patient when this is the last thing they are waiting on to close the estate out.  And now they are concerned that when they finally get the refund, six months later they will get an interest check for the refund. 

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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.

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The best we can do is give them the 800-829-1040 and let them call for themselves, its very important for them to know what is happening is not within our control.

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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.  

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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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