Even a tiny mistake can delay your tax refund for months. Here’s how to avoid that.

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To avoid hassles, the best approach is to be careful, thorough — and digital.

United States News, United States Headlines

By Liz Weston, of NerdWallet

Let’s start with the basics: File electronically and request direct deposit of any refund you might be due, says April Walker, lead manager for tax practice and ethics with the American Institute of CPAs. If your income was $73,000 or less in 2021, you can use the IRS’If you file electronically, you can begin tracking the status of your refund on the IRS site within 24 hours , says CPA Lei Han, associate professor of accounting at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York.

If you invest outside a retirement account, beware: Brokerages are notorious for sending out “preliminary” 1099-B forms — which track investors’ gains and losses — to meet the IRS mid-February deadline , and then sending corrected forms a month or so later. If you rely on the preliminary form, you may end up having to file an amended return , which would have to be manually processed and could delay your refund for months.

In January, the IRS began sending out notices to taxpayers who had received payments in 2021: Letter 6475 summarized how much stimulus money the taxpayer got, while Letter 6419 reported total advance child tax credit payments.

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