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If you are e-filing your taxes, zero may be the magic number

Zero may be the magic number if the IRS system rejects your e-file.

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This trick could be very helpful for taxpayers who are still filing.


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2020 tax delay could cause problems now

There are still millions of unprocessed returns from 2022. This has been proven problematic for taxpayers trying to file their 2021 taxes electronically. Additional details can be found here.

A rejected e-file would leave you forced to file a paper return which most likely cause a delay to your 2021 refund. The IRS will reject your e-file because they don’t have your previous return on file.

How can zero help?

If you are e-filing , the system will ask for your adjusted gross income for the last year in order to verify you. When asked this questions people are putting in their Adjusted Gross Income from 2020 tax return. That’s what seems to make sense, but actually isn’t the right thing to do in certain cases.

Because the IRS hasn’t processed your 2020 return, they don’t see the same AGI that you do. Instead of filing via paper which will delay your return even further, try entering zero for AGI.

The zero trick will only work if your 2020 returns haven’t been processed. E-filing will lead to a quicker refund and it can even be direct deposited.

You do not have to wait until your 2020 return has been processed to file your 2021 taxes. If you’d like additional details, visit Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return on the IRS website.


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