2016 Individual Income Tax Returns Can Be Filed Starting January 23, 2017

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The IRS announced today that tax returns for 2016 (filed in 2017) will be accepted starting Monday, January 23, 2017.  You may file returns before that date but the IRS will not be processing returns until January 23rd.

Returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) will be reviewed more closely and any refunds claiming these credits will not be issued until at least February 15, 2017 and the IRS cautions taxpayers with these credits may not get refunds until February 27, 2017, at the earliest.

Normally Individual Income Tax returns are due by April 15th but that day falls on a Saturday so the deadline will be Tuesday, April 18, 2017 due to the preceding day, April 17, being a legal holiday (Emancipation Day) in the District of Columbia and the IRS will not process returns on that day, even in offices outside of DC.

Your tax preparer can begin tax preparation in January but remember your returns will not be accepted by the IRS until January 23rd and some refunds may be delayed so please keep this in mind when preparing your taxes this year.

Thoughts or questions?  Please let me know using the form below.


Thomas C. Hodge

Hodge Group LLC
3943 N. Austin Avenue
Chicago, IL 60634



www.taxbillappeals.com – Property Tax Bill Appeals for Cook County IL

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What if I don’t get my W2?

IRS recently put up some timely advice on IRS.gov – a couple of things you can do if you do not receive a W2 form from an employer.  You are still responsible for the timely filing of your income tax return regardless of if you gegeneral-icons-23t a W2 form or not.

Sometimes people move, or the W2 can get lost, or an employer can go out of business – those are all legitimate reasons for not getting the form.  So, what can you do?

Some IRS tips include:

  1. Contact your employer – they are required to keep W2 forms for a number of years so sending a new copy shouldn’t be a huge ordeal.
  2. Contact the IRS – if you can’t get a new copy of your W2 from your employer, call the IRS (800-829-1040 but be prepared to be on hold for a while!).  Give the IRS all the info you have (how long you worked for the company, their full name & address, estimate of your wages, etc.)  The IRS does get a copy of all W2 forms and may be able to send you the relevant information.
  3. File with the information you have – you can use a final paystub to estimate your return if you have to, but realize the info may not be ‘final’ so you may have to file an amended return at some point.  Use form 4852 – Substitute for form W2  (you can get a copy of the form through IRS.gov).  Always best to file a return if one is required and do so on time!  File an extension (form 4868) or through IRS.gov if you need to.

Additional resources on IRS.gov include Tax Topic 154 – Form W2 and 1099-R.  They have videos in English & Spanish as well.

If you need any additional information, or you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me using the form below.


Thomas C. Hodge, CPA

The Hodge Group
4118 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618



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Individual Tax ID numbers will be harder to get

When a person doesn’t have a Social Security Number (SSN) or aren’t eligible for one, they can apply to the IRS to get a ‘Temporary Individual ID Number’ so they can file tax returns, make payments, obtain refunds, etc. These ID numbers are usually issued temporarily for people who have work visas, scholarships, temporary/seasonal jobs, etc. and who are not citizens or naturalized aliens.  However, obtaining these temporary tax ID numbers will be more difficult moving forward.

The IRS is reporting that ‘a significant number’ of fraudulent tax returns claiming refunds have been filed using temporary ID numbers. Starting soon, in order to get a temporary ID number, applicants will now need to send original copies of passports or birth certificates, or copies certified by the agency that issued the document – notarized copies are no longer allowed as had been in the past.  The IRS is hoping this will cut down on fraud.

As a notary, I’ve never been asked to ‘certify this birth certificate is real’ or anything like that and not even sure how I would know so I’m glad this is being taken out of our hands.  As a tax return preparer, I’ve run into situations where people are trying to claim all sorts of things and it is my job to put them on the right track & make sure they file an accurate return.  Knowing that the IRS will only issue temporary ID numbers after receiving original paperwork or certified copies should cut down on tax fraud and make tax return preparation a bit easier…

I welcome your comments & questions.


Tom Hodge, President

The Hodge Group