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How to collect the cash

So, are you one of the 1.5 million Americans who the IRS owes?

It’s quite easy to find out.

One option is to call the IRS directly so they can look into your file to discover whether the IRS has a balance owing for you.

You can also check online by logging in to your IRS account through their digital services. If you haven’t done this, the process is quite simple, and you can check your balance at any time.

Filing a 2019 tax return will require key documents that may not be easily accessible if you haven’t kept them on record. But the IRS has a few tips to help you get them.

If you’re missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for 2019, you can request copies from your employer, bank or other payers. If you’re unable to get the necessary forms, you can order a free wage and income transcript at the IRS website using the Get Transcript Online tool. The IRS notes this might be the quickest option.

Another option is to file Form 4506-T with the tax collector to request a wage and income transcript. But be prepared to wait, as written requests can take weeks to process. It’s highly recommended that you try the other options first, especially given the looming July 17 deadline.

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About the Author

Amy Legate-Wolfe

Amy Legate-Wolfe

Freelance contributor

Amy Legate-Wolfe is an experienced personal finance writer and journalist. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Toronto, a Freelance Writing Certificate in Journalism from the University of Toronto Schools, and a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University. Amy has worked for Huffington Post,, CBC, Motley Fool Canada, and Financial Post. She is skilled at analyzing trends and creating content for digital and print platforms. In her free time, Amy enjoys reading and watching British dramas on BritBox. She is a mother and dog-mom to a Wheaten Terrier.

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