Tax tips 2022: Delayed refund checks mean you could be owed interest from IRS

Tax filing tips, free help to get the most from your refund
CHICAGO (WLS) -- You may have heard that the IRS is expected to be late getting out tax refunds again this year, but that's not necessarily bad news. Why? Well, that's just one of the I-Team's tax hacks aimed to help you cash in.

We all hope to get our tax refund check on time but if yours comes 45 days after this year's April 18 deadline, you're owed a refund plus a little more.

Tax Hack Tip #1:

Make sure you get interest if your refund is late
"It's a 3% APY right now for refunds from the IRS. So for every $1,000 refund, you would get around $2.50 additional and that actually starts every month your refund is delayed beyond the actual tax season," said tax accountant Connell Jones.

In 2020, the IRS paid $3 billion in interest to taxpayers, according to a federal government review.

Tax Hack Tip #2:

The pandemic and inflation may boost your return
The pandemic and inflation may put you in a different tax bracket this year, meaning a boost in your return. Thanks to inflation, the 2021 tax brackets moved up. If your income was the same as last year, you may be taxed at a lower rate.

"Inflation in the pandemic should help people get a bigger return," Jones said.

Tax hack tip #3:

Take advantage of free tax help
There are free tax preparer sources for members of the U.S. military and seniors can get free in-person or virtual tax help, through AARP. Depending on your income, you may also qualify for free tax assistance through the IRS or your local municipality.

Tax Hack Tip #4:

Make sure you know what you are signing
Some accounting firms are outsourcing work to other countries to improve profits. If this happens to you, there is a consent form that must include certain information, like the name of the outsourced preparer.

"It's actually illegal to outsource customers' information without their permission. In order for you to outsource any of your customers' information, you have to get a consent," Jones said. "And this is personal information. I mean, you have people's names, you have people's date of births, you have people's social security numbers, and there's a lot of fraud going on today where you want all that information to be protected."

The IRS stresses to file electronically, use direct deposit and file early.
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