I Filed, Now What? What Happens After You File Your Taxes

Filed on time? If you're one of the 80% of Americans that file on time, you're already ahead of the game. But now you're haunted by lingering regret. You're asking yourself, "Did I sign it...did I take advantage of the right deductions...did I write my name in wrong...where's my return...what should do?" Don't fuss, the IRS won't throw you in prison over an honest mistake.

Where's my Refund?
You want your money and you want it now. Don't worry, you can actually go online to check on the status of your 2008 refund. You can do this 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, which is usually 3 to 4 weeks after you mail a paper return.

In order to check on your return status you need your filing status, the first SSN shown on the return, and the exact whole-dollar amount of the refund.

Three Options for Checking on your Tax Return Status:
• Go to IRS.gov, and click on “Where’s My Refund.” Accessible here for now.
• Call 1-800-829-1954 during the hours shown in your form instructions.
• Call 1-800-829-4477 (24 hours) for automated refund information.

Quick Warning, Phishing Scams: The time is ripe for scammers to fool the unsuspecting. If you receive an e-mail from the "IRS" asking for personal information in exchange for your tax refund or information on it's status, that is NOT an e-mail from the IRS. Never give your personal information by e-mail.

HELP, I Made a Mistake!
Small blunders on your Tax return may delay your refund or result in IRS notices coming in your mail. But don't stress out, you can file an Amended Return. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

5 Good Reasons To File an Amended Return

1. You left out some income
It's not too late to report the $50,000 you made working under the table. Report it, even if you work for the mob. That's how they caught Al Capone, you know.

2. You "accidentally" claimed deductions or credits that don't apply to you
It's not too late to turn back, cheaters! Just say it was an accident and now one will blame you at this stage in the game...

3. You found out there are some deductions or credits you could have claimed
There are plenty of new credits to take advantage of this year, so make sure you do it while you can.

4. You need to claim a different filing status.
Just found out your wife owes $20,000 to the IRS? Hurry, you can change your status to Married Filing Separately.

5. You want to claim the First Time Home Buyer credit on the 2008 return
Bought a home last year? Thinking of buying a home? You might be able to file an amended return to claim the First Time Home Buyer Credit ($8,000). You can claim this on the 2008 return or you can wait to claim it on next year's (2009) return.

Not the end of the world hopefully this answers some of your questions. If you made a small mistake, it's not the end of the world. You still have the time to change it. And don't be afraid to contact a CPA, Accountant, Tax Preparer of Tax Resolution professional if you have any questions.