Having Accurate Identification Information
Making sure a taxpayer's name, address and tax identification information on their return is correct is particularly important. This ensures that the IRS has accurate record of your return, communications and future correspondence go to the correct place, and refunds are received promptly.
If you recently changed your name, recently moved, or are now using a new mailing address (such as a PO Box) make sure to provide this information to us so that these changes are noted on your filing. Also, remember when when you move it is your responsibility to file an 8822 (PDF available here) to notify the IRS of your new address.
It is sometimes common for taxpayers to forget apartment numbers, suite numbers, directions or designation (street, ave, blvd, etc). Even with e-filings it is important to include your full and correct mailing address.
When a name change is made, a filer will also need to take measures to ensure the IRS is aware of the change. This starts by reporting the change with the proper documentation to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Note: this should be done prior to filing your taxes. Once the SSA confirms the change the IRS will be able to match the social and the new name. Doing this will help prevent delays in the processing of a return and refund.
Using a Foreign Address
If you are filing a US tax return from abroad there is a specific method for listing that address. Start by entering the information in the following order; city first, then the providence (or state), and then the foreign country name. Do not abbreviate the name.
Non-resident and Resident Alien
If a non-resident or resident alien is not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) they will need to file for a Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) . It can take up to six to ten weeks to receive, so please plan ahead accordingly. An ITIN can be requested by filing out the form W-7 (PDF available here). Please note that this is for tax purposes only and does not act as a replacement for a SSN. When received, this number will be used in place of an SSN on the taxpayers filing.
Q&A: How can I find my prior year AGI?
Your prior year AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) is what is being used to digitally sign your return. This is an IRS requirement, and only required when electronically transmitting your tax return. This is what is being used to prove your identity and help combat taxpayer fraud. Your AGI can be found on the following line of last year's tax return:
- On a Form 1040EZ line 4
- On a Form 1040A line 21
- On a Form 1040, line 37
If you amended your return last year you may need to use the AGI from your original return rather than the amended return.