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Recent Tax Updates

Filing a “Simple” Return to Receive the Economic Impact Payment

With the exception of taxpayers who received Social Security Benefits, taxpayers who did not have a requirement to file a federal return in 2019 and 2018 will need to file a “simple” federal return in order to receive an Economic Impact (stimulus) Payment.

To file these returns these taxpayers will need the following information:

  • Their full name and SSN
  • If applicable, their Spouse’s full name and SSN
  • Current address
  • Name, SSNs (or ATINs) and relationship of children that are under the age of 17
  • Bank account information, if they wish to have the payment direct deposited

Other things to note:

  • No need to include any income information on the return
  • Only filing status allowed is Single or Married Filing Joint
  • When selecting the option for a “simple” return a $1 will be included on the taxable interest income line on Form 1040

Filing these returns electronically and including direct deposit information will allow the IRS to process the information and send the economic impact payment to the taxpayer in the least amount of time. If the direct deposit information is not included the taxpayer will receive their payment as paper check.

Remember the following individuals are not eligible for an economic impact payment:

  • Individuals that do not have a valid work SSN
  • Individuals that can be claimed as a dependent on another’s return
  • Dependents who are 17, 18, or Students 19 – 23

How to Complete a “Simple” Return in Crosslink
Here is how to complete a “Simple” return in the Crosslink program:

  • Go to Client Data Screen and check the new checkbox for “simple” return which is located above the Taxpayer information sectionIf the Interview mode is being used to complete the return, you can select the “simple” return option by pressing the button near the top-right of the screen. Once you press the button the Client Data Screen will appear and the “Simple” return checkbox will be checked.
  • Complete the following information on the Client Data Screen:
    • Taxpayer and Spouse (if applicable) information
    • Filing Status – Single or Married Filing Joint
    • Address
    • Information for dependents under 17
    • Direct deposit information
  • By checking the “simple” return option and completing the relevant information for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents the following information will be calculated on the Form 1040:
    • Taxable interest on Form 1040, line 2b will be calculated as $1.
    • The applicable Standard Deduction amount for Single or Married Filing Joint will be calculated on Form 1040, line 9.

Other Things to Note when the “Simple” Return Option is selected:

  • Only forms allowed in this “simple” return are the Form 1040 and Form 8879.
  • Do not include any income or deductions on this “simple” return
  • A State return is not allowed if you select the “simple” return option. This “simple” return is for federal purposes only. It is to allow the taxpayer to file to receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. If a State return needs to be filed, you must file a complete federal and include all income and deduction information.
Mark Castro, CPA

Mark Castro, CPA

Mark has been with CrossLink Professional Tax Solutions (CPTS) since 2008, but has been in the tax industry since 1990. As the government/tax industry liaison for CPTS, Mark has been very active in working with the IRS, States, and other tax industry members to help improve communications, promote standardization, and simplification of eFile systems. Mark has also been active with industry associations as a board member of the National Association of Computerized Processors (NACTP) and the Council of Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement (CERCA) for many years. These two associations work with the IRS and States to help solve key eFile and electronic tax system issues and work to improve the operations of the State and IRS eFile systems.

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