Did your 2019 Tax Return get rejected by the IRS?

This happened to one of my clients. In ordinary years ( “ordinary” hereinafter defined as “not 2020”) rejection of an otherwise-correct return usually means identity theft, but this year, we have another twist. If you called  the IRS to inquire about your stimulus check, the IRS systems show a return was filed with adjusted gross income of one dollar. This effectively re-booted the “generate a stimulus check” function – all good so far. Unfortunately, now that you’re filing a real return, the IRS already shows you as having already filed, so it rejects.

The solution: file via US mail, and write the letters E.I.P. prominently at the top of the return. These letters will indicate to the IRS employee who will be inputting your return that it is not a duplicate or amended return. A cover letter indicating the e-file was rejected also won’t hurt.

Will this mean a longer processing time? YES.

Is there anything you can do about it? NO.

Should you send the return via certified mail? YES.

Keep your e-file rejection notice, the certified mail tracking information, and a link to this post. If you attempt to purchase or refinance and the mortgage company can’t access your 2019 return, this will give them some reassurance. Likewise, if a background check doesn’t show the return filed, you’ll have an explanation.

Sorry about the result; it will probably mean a 3 month or more delay in processing your return (and  refund) – just remember, I’m only the messenger.