Mistakes On Your Return
If you file an incomplete return or if you have any mistakes on your tax return, the IRS will spend longer processing your return. This will slow down any potential refund. Mistakes could include mathematical errors or incorrect personal information.
Using a tax filing service, such as TurboTax, will likely eliminate mathematical errors from your return. The software will do the math for you. However, its still possible to make a mistake if you are inputting any information manually For example, lets say you manually input the information from your W-2. If you earned $50,000 over the year but you accidentally input $51,000, you may run into problems.
The IRS will contact you if there are any issues with your return. In some cases, the IRS will correct small mathematical errors. That could save you the work of having to file an amended return.
Incorrect personal information will also slow down your return. As an example, lets say you file a joint return and incorrectly input your spouses Social Security number . The rest of the information on your return could be correct, but the IRS may not be able to confirm that because it cant match your spouses SSN.
Your Refund Has Been Offset To Pay A Debt
If you owe certain debtsincluding unpaid child support, unpaid state taxes, or delinquent federal student loansthe IRS can offset your refund by the balance owed. If your refund is offset, youll receive a notice from the U.S. Treasurys Bureau of the Fiscal Service advising you as to why your refund was taken and the agency to which the debt has been owed. You have the right to dispute the debt with the agency that received your refund.
What Do These Irs Tax Refund Messages Mean
Both IRS tools will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.
- Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
- Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if youre owed one.
- Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check sent to your mailbox.
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Request Electronic Communications From The Department
The best way to communicate with the Tax Department about your return is to open an Online Services account and request electronic communications for both Bills and Related Notices and Other Notifications. To ensure that you receive future communications in the Message Center of your Online Services Account Summary homepage, create your account now, before filing your next return.
Once you’ve logged in to your Online Services account:
Sample of Individuals account type in Online Services
Sample of Bills and Related Notices screen in Online Services.
What’s Causing The Massive Irs Backlog And Delays
Because of the pandemic, the IRS ran at restricted capacity in 2020, which put a strain on its ability to process tax returns and created a backlog. The combination of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus payments, challenges with paper-filed returns and the tasks related to implementing new tax laws and credits created a “perfect storm,” according to a National Taxpayer Advocate review of the 2021 filing season to Congress.
The IRS is open again and currently processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays. The IRS said it’s also taking more time for 2020 tax returns that need review, such as determining recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks — or figuring out earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.
Here’s a list of reasons your income tax refund might be delayed:
- Your tax return has errors.
- It’s incomplete.
- Your refund is suspected of identity theft or fraud.
- You filed for the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit.
- Your return needs further review.
- Your return includes Form 8379 , injured spouse allocation — this could take up to 14 weeks to process.
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Why Would My Tax Refund Come In The Mail
There are a couple of reasons that your refund would be mailed to you. Your money can only be electronically deposited into a bank account with your name, your spouse’s name or a joint account. If that’s not the reason, you may be getting multiple refund checks, and the IRS can only direct deposit up to three refunds to one account. Additional refunds must be mailed. Also, your bank may reject the deposit and this would be the IRS’ next best way to refund your money quickly.
It’s also important to note that for refunds, direct deposit isn’t always automatic. Some are noticing that like the stimulus checks, the first few payments for the child tax credit were mailed. Just in case, parents should sign in to the IRS portal to check that the agency has their correct banking information. If not, parents can add it for the next payment.
You Filed A Paper Return
As mentioned earlier, the IRS normally takes longer to process paper returns than electronically filed returns. That means you will wait longer for a refundand even longer if you want your refund as a check. The IRS also takes longer to process a return and issue a refund if you file a paper return via certified mail.
Speaking of paper returns, you will need to file all amended returns as a paper return. The IRS estimates the processing time for amended returns as somewhere between eight and 12 weeks.
Even if you file electronically, you will have to wait longer if you elect to receive your refund as a paper check. Sending a check through the mail also creates the possibility of the check getting lost or sent to the wrong address. That would delay your refund similarly to the way sending a refund to the wrong bank account would.
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All You Need To Know Is Yourself
Answer simple questions about your life and TurboTax Free Edition will take care of the rest.
Estimate your tax refund andwhere you stand
Know how much to withhold from your paycheck to get
Estimate your self-employment tax and eliminate
Know which dependents credits and deductions
Estimate capital gains, losses, and taxes for cryptocurrency sales
See which education credits and deductions you qualify for
The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.
What About My State Tax Refund
What weve covered so far applies to federal tax refunds. As you might expect, every state does things a little differently when it comes to issuing tax refund.
Generally, you can expect to receive your state tax refund within 30 days if you filed your tax return electronically. If you filed a paper tax return, it may take as many as 12 weeks for your refund to arrive or longer, if your state has been or still is under social distancing restrictions. To find out the status of your refund, youll need to contact your state tax agency or visit your states Department of Revenue website.
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Handling A Refund Delay Do Your Research And Respond Right Away
If the IRS is delaying your refund, youll need to understand why, and navigate the IRS to issue your refund as quickly as possible. This can be a daunting task because refund holds can feel like audits. But, be patient, and dont worry. If your tax return is correct, its just a matter of explaining everything to the IRS.
Best course: If you get a notice from the IRS about your refund hold, immediately investigate the cause. Heres where to start.
How Long Will It Take To Get My Tax Refund
The Internal Revenue Service says that 90% of taxpayers who file their return electronically will get their refund within 21 days. That said, a sizable amount of refunds can be delayed beyond that, sometimes significantly. For 2020 returns, COVID-19 has created a significant backlog due to limited staffing.
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How Long Do I Have To Wait For My Refund
So, how long a delay will my tax return have? It all depends…
The IRS is still estimating that 90% of people should receive their refunds within 21 days. If you file early, the IRS will hold your refund until February 15, and then begin processing your refund. So, you could see a delay until the middle to end of February.
Based on what we’ve seen in prior years, we have a estimated tax refund calendar that we believe is pretty accurate. We encourage you to post your story so that others can see the timing as it happens.
If you want to get started on your taxes early, check out our picks for the best tax software for early tax filers.
Did you find your tax refund delayed by this new law?
What You Can Expect
Look on the following list for the action you took whether that’s sending us your individual or business tax return or answering a letter from us. Then, open the action to see how long you may have to wait and what to do next.
How long you may have to wait: The IRS understands the importance of timely processing of tax returns and refund issuance. We have processed all error free refund returns received prior to April 2021 and continue to work the returns that need to be manually reviewed due to errors. We are continuing to reroute tax returns and taxpayer correspondence from locations that are behind to locations where more staff is available, and we are taking other actions to minimize any delays. Tax returns are opened and processed in the order received. As the return is processed, whether it was filed electronically or on paper, it may be delayed because it has a mistake including errors concerning the Recovery Rebate Credit, is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud. If we can fix it without contacting you, we will. If we need more information or need you to verify that it was you who sent the tax return, we will write you a letter. The resolution of these issues could take 90 to 120 days depending on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the processing of your return.
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Reasons For A Late Tax Refund
Many things can hold up the processing and delivery of your tax refund. For example, it could be delayed if you filed your return too early or waited until the last minute. If you tried to file in January, for example, a last-minute change to the tax code could have triggered an error on your return that slowed down the processing. Similarly, waiting until the very last minute to get your return in can mean a longer wait for your refund if the IRS is backlogged with a larger-than-usual volume of returns.
Also, keep in mind that filing a paper return can slow things down. The fastest way to fileand to get your refundis to do it electronically online. Here are some of the most common causes of delay:
Why Would My Refund Come In The Mail
There are a couple of reasons that your refund would be mailed to you. Your money can only be electronically deposited into a bank account with your name, your spouses name or a joint account. If thats not the reason, you may be getting multiple refund checks, and the IRS can only direct deposit up to three refunds to one account. Additional refunds must be mailed. Also, your bank may reject the deposit and this would be the IRS next best way to refund your money quickly.
Its also important to note that for refunds, direct deposit isnt always automatic. Some are noticing that like the stimulus checks, the first few payments for the child tax credit were mailed. Just in case, parents should sign in to the IRS portal to check that the agency has their correct banking information. If not, parents can add it for the next payment.
For more information about your money, heres the latest on federal unemployment benefits and how the child tax credit could affect your taxes in 2022.
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How Can I Track My Irs Refund
If you are still expecting a tax refund, you can check the status of your 2020 income tax refund by using the IRS Wheres My Refund tool. Taxpayers will need to input personal information, including their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, as well as the filing status and the expected refund amount.
Taxpayers can also check their refund status on the agencys mobile app IRS2Go. The app will also allow you to make tax payments and get free tax help .
Those getting tax refunds via direct deposit could get an IRS TREAS 310 notification on their accounts, which identifies tax refunds processed through electronic payments. Note that IRS TREAS 449, indicates that your refund has been reduced to repay tax debt.
And for taxpayers expecting a refund for 2020 unemployment compensation the IRS said its correcting tax returns through the summer.
The agency has issued more than $10 billion in unemployment compensation refunds since May. The average refund adjustment is $1,686, and taxpayers may need to file an amended return if they failed to submit required forms or schedules.
Check The Status Of Your Income Tax Refund
- Click on TSC-IND to reach the Welcome Page
- Select Check the Status of Your Refund found on the left side of the Welcome Page.
You must have your social security number and the exact amount of the refund request as reported on your Connecticut income tax return. Enter the whole dollar amount of the refund you requested. For example, if you requested a refund of $375, enter 375.
NOTE: Please be aware that for all direct deposit refunds you must allow at least two business days after the date the refund is processed for the credit to be in the account.
- Call our automated refund system 24 hours a day and check the status of your refund by calling 800-382-9463 or 860-297-5962 . You will need your social security number and the exact amount of the refund request as reported on your income tax return. Enter the whole dollar amount of the refund you requested followed by the # sign. For example, if you requested a refund of $375, enter 375#. You can only check the status of the refund for the current filing season by telephone.
Paper Returns: Due to the volume during the filing season, it takes 10 – 12 weeks to process paper returns. Until the return is processed, your return will not appear on our computer system and we will not be able to check its status or to give you information about your refund. NOTE: Please consider using one of the electronic filing options. Visit our Online Filing Page for more information.
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What Types Of Tax Returns Does This Impact
It’s important to note that not ALL tax returns are being delayed because of this new law. Only tax returns that have the following tax credits are being held:
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Additional Child Tax Credit
These are likely the most common tax credits taken by criminals, since they are what’s known as Refundable Tax Credits. That means, even if you owe no taxes because of low or moderate income, you could still receive a refund for these tax credits.
If you’re a criminal looking to get the most money possible, you’ll likely want to file a return with these tax credits on it.
However, the impact is that low and moderate income tax filers have to wait longer for their tax refunds than in previous years.
Why Is Your Refund Different Than You Expected
Errors or missing information
If your tax return had one or more errors, we may need to adjust your return leading to a different refund amount than you claimed on your return. We will send you a letter explaining the adjustments we made and how they affected your refund. If you have questions about the change, please call Customer Services.
Tax refund offsets – applying all or part of your refund toward eligible debts
- If you owe Virginia state taxes for any previous tax years, we will withhold all or part of your refund and apply it to your outstanding tax bills. We will send you a letter explaining the specific bills and how much of your refund was applied. If you have questions or think the refund was reduced in error, please contact us.
- If you owe money to Virginia local governments, courts, other state agencies, the IRS, or certain federal government agencies we will withhold all or part of your refund to help pay these debts. We will send you a letter with the name and contact information of the agency making the claim, and the amount of your refund applied to the debt. We do not have any information about these debts. If you think a claim was made in error or have any questions about the debt your refund was applied to, you’ll need call the agency that made the claim.
If you have a remaining refund balance after your debts are paid, we will send a check to the address on your most recent tax return. We cannot issue reduced refunds by direct deposit.
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