How Can I Claim My Income Tax Refund
The easiest way to file for your tax refund is to declare your investments in Form 16 while filing your IT return and submit the necessary proofs. If youve failed to do so and have been paying extra taxes you think you could have avoided, you will need to fill out Form 30.
Form 30 is basically a request for your case to be looked into and the excess tax that you have paid is refunded. Your income tax refund claim needs to be submitted before the end of the financial year. Your claim needs to be accompanied by a return in the form .
Where To Expect Delays
Susan Allen, senior manager for tax practice and ethics with the American Institute of CPAs, said the IRS has issued guidance to tax professionals this year noting that in some situations, it may take more than the typical wait of 21 days or less to issue any related refund.
Delays could hit returns such as:
- Tax returns that require a correction relating to the recovery rebate credit or what most people who aren’t tax professionals know as stimulus money.
- Tax returns where the IRS needs to validate information relating to the earned income tax credit or the advance child tax credit.
“Both the Rebate Recovery Credit and the EITC lookback provision require verification of information,” said Matt Hetherwick, director of individual tax programs for the Accounting Aid Society of Detroit.
Experts say the IRS has been working to develop improved fraud detection tools, which causes an additional review when a return gets caught by the filters.
“Some of these become manual reviews causing delays,” Hetherwick said.
A review by the IRS means that taxpayers will wait longer for refund cash for many 2020 tax returns.
H& R Block notes on its website: “If your return meets these criteria, the IRS will manually review your return, and it may take an additional 10 to 14 business days to receive your refund.”
Including current year returns, the IRS said that as of April 9, the agency had 16.2 million unprocessed individual returns in the pipeline.
Dont Be Afraid To Follow Up
We arent condoning hassling the IRS. However, if youve already been in touch about a possibly delayed return and you still arent sure whats going on, it doesnt hurt to get in touch again. Some problems persist despite an agents best efforts to fix them.
Even simple factors, like website glitches and system errors, can hold up peoples refunds. Dont be scared to call the IRS to ask about your refund its possible that you havent even made a mistake.
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The Fast Way To Get Your Tax Refund
There are a number of ways to get money early. Filing as early as possible will give you a better chance of being in the first round of returns processed by the IRS. Electronic or e-filing gets your return to the IRS quicker than mailing a paper return. The sooner they receive your return, the sooner they can begin processing. Choosing to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account instead of receiving a check in the mail is also faster.
Another way to get your refund early is to choose to load it onto an American Express Serve® Card. Your refund will be available up to two days faster* than standard direct deposit. Those two days can mean the difference between getting your refund on a Friday or waiting until Tuesday of the following week. It makes a big difference for most of our hard-working clients.
How Do I Track My Tax Refund
If youre wondering where your refund is, there are a few ways you can check its status.
The IRS online tools. The fastest and easiest way to track your federal tax refund is to use the IRS Wheres My Refund tool or the IRS2Go mobile app, according to the IRS.7 These tools will tell you when your return is received, approved, and when your tax refund is sent. To use either of the IRS tracking tools, youll need your Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount. If you e-filed, you can start checking your status with these tools 24 hours after filing. But itll take about four weeks before you can check the status of a mailed return.
Through your e-filing service. If you e-filed your return, the tax preparation website you used will likely alert you via email or status update when your return is received, approved, and your tax refund is sent.
You can call the IRS, but the government notes that you might be on hold for a while before you get to speak to a representative. And IRS representatives can only research the status of your refund if its been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than six weeks since you mailed your paper return. If you choose to call the IRS, you should be ready to provide personal information like your Social Security number, birth date, and filing status.
If youre expecting an amended tax return, you can use the IRS Wheres My Amended Return? tool.8
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Is The Irs Holding On To Your Refund
The PATH Act made the following changes, which became effective for the 2017 filing season, to help prevent revenue loss due to identity theft and refund fraud related to fabricated wages and withholdings:
- The IRS may not issue a credit or refund to you before February 15th, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit on your tax return.
- This change only affects returns claiming EITC or ACTC filed before February 15.
- The IRS will hold your entire refund, including any part of your refund not associated with the EITC or ACTC.
- Neither TAS, nor the IRS, can release any part of your refund before that date, even if youre experiencing a financial hardship.
See Held or Stopped Refunds for more information.
Is It Still Possible To Stop The Rest Of The Monthly Payments This Year
The child tax credit requirements are different from previous years. If you ultimately receive more money than you’re eligible for, you might have to pay the IRS back. That’s why it’s important to use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to inform the IRS of changes to your household circumstances so adjustments can be made.
You may choose to opt out of advance monthly child tax credit payments to get one lump sum during tax time in 2022. It also may be the safest option to avoid repaying the IRS if you’re ineligible for the monthly payments, especially if your income changes this year. You can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to opt out of the program anytime. You’ll only need to unenroll once, and you should be able to reenroll later this month if you need to.
If you or your spouse unenrolled from the child tax credit program but still got the money, it’s possible you didn’t opt out in time. You need to do so at least three days before the first Thursday of the month because it takes up to seven calendar days to process the request. The deadline to update your information for October’s check has passed. The next deadline is Nov. 1. Note that if you file taxes jointly, both parents need to unenroll. Otherwise, the spouse who doesn’t opt out will receive half of the joint payment.
Here are the deadlines for unenrolling:
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What Information Is Available
You can start checking on the status of your refund within 24 hours after we have received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. Wheres My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date after we process your return and approve your refund.
The tracker displays progress through three stages:
To use Wheres My Refund, you need to provide your Social Security number, filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Will My Tax Refund Be Delayed
Some tax returns take longer to process than others, not only because of the two tax credits we just discussed. Here are a few more reasons the IRS says may cause a delay in your tax refund:4
- Your return had errors, or was incomplete.
- You are a victim of tax fraud or identity theft.
- Your return includes Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process. Form 8379 does not have to do with physical injuries, but refers to a situation in which a joint refund is seized because one spouse owes a debt like taxes or child support, even if the other spouse was expected to get a refund. The injured or negatively affected spouse can file Form 8379 to receive their portion of their joint tax refund.5
- Your return needs further review in general, such as if youre being audited.6
The IRS will contact you if they need any more information to process your tax return.
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What Can Slow Down Your Refund
- Your return was selected for additional review. As refund fraud resulting from identify theft has become more widespread, were taking extra steps to review all individual income tax returns we receive to be sure refunds go to the rightful owners. Additional safeguards can mean that it takes us longer to process your refund. However, our goal is to stop fraudulent refunds before theyre issued, not to slow down your refund. Learn more about our refund review process and what we’re doing to protect taxpayers.
- Missing information or documents. If we send you a letter requesting more information, please respond quickly so we can continue processing your return.
- Errors on your return. We found a math error in your return or have to make another adjustment. If the adjustment causes a different refund amount than you were expecting, we will send you a letter to explain the adjustment.
- Problems with direct deposit. If you requested direct deposit, but the account number was entered incorrectly, your bank won’t be able to process the deposit. When this happens, your bank notifies us, and we will manually re-issue your refund as a check. This process could take up to 2 weeks between the time we receive notification from the bank and when you receive the check.
When Can I Expect My Federal Tax Refund
According to the IRS, 90% of refunds are issued within three weeks.1 But it can sometimes take up to eight weeks. Thats quite a large range, so what gives? A few factors can affect how long it actually takes for you to get your federal tax refund.
Filing method. The IRS says e-filing with direct deposit is the best and fastest way to get your tax refund. If you file a paper return, someone at the IRS needs to enter your information into an electronic system before your tax return and refund can be processed. Then, the refund must be mailed to you. E-filing with direct deposit removes those steps, cutting down on processing time. Need another reason to e-file? According to the IRS, its taking even longer than usual to process tax-related mailed documents this year.2
Certain tax credits. By law, the IRS says it cannot issue refunds before March for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit , which is the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit. This applies to the entire refund, even the portion not associated with these credits. The IRS says if you claim either of those two tax credits, you can expect direct deposit into your account as early as the first week of March assuming you filed at the beginning of tax season and there are no other issues with your tax return.3
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Income Tax Refund Information
You can check the status of your current year refund online, or by calling the automated line at 260-7701 or 1-800-218-8160. Be sure you have a copy of your return on hand to verify information. You can also e-mail us at to check on your refund. Remember to include your name, Social Security number and refund amount in your e-mail request.
If you’re expecting a tax refund and want it quickly, file electronically – instead of using a paper return.
If you choose direct deposit, we will transfer your refund to your bank account within a few days from the date your return is accepted and processed.
We usually process electronically filed tax returns the same day that the return is transmitted to us.
If you filed electronically through a professional tax preparer and haven’t received your refund check our online system. If not there, call your preparer to make sure that your return was transmitted to us and on what date. If sufficient time has passed from that date, call our Refund line.
Paper returns take approximately 30 days to process. Keep in mind that acknowledgment of the receipt of your return takes place when your return has processed and appears in our computer system.
Typically, a refund can also be delayed when the return contains:
- Math errors.
- Missing entries in the required sections.
- An amount claimed for estimated taxes paid that doesn’t correspond with the amount we have on file.
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Why Is My Refund Different Than The Amount On The Tax Return I Filed
All or part of your refund may have been used to pay off past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. To find out if you may have an offset or if you have questions about an offset, contact the agency to which you owe the debt.
We also may have changed your refund amount because we made changes to your tax return. This may include corrections to any incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amount. Youll get a notice explaining the changes. Wheres My Refund? will reflect the reasons for the refund offset when it relates to a change in your tax return.
Tax Topic 203, Refund Offsets for Unpaid Child Support, Certain Federal and State Debts, and Unemployment Compensation Debts has more information about refund offsets.
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My Refund Failed To Reach Me As My Address Has Changed I Want To Raise A Request For Refund Re
You can only raise a request of refund re-issue if your refund failed to reach you and was returned to the Income Tax Department. In that case, login in the Income Tax e-Filing website and go to My Account â Refund re-issue request. Select the mode through which you wish to receive the refund- ECS or Cheque. Provide the new Bank Account Number and provide the new Address. Submit the request.
Once the request is submitted, your new Address is updated with the Income Tax Department.
Possible Reasons For A Late 2019 Tax Refund
There are a few common reasons that people receive late tax refunds. Remember that nobody can tell you with certainty why your tax refund is late or whether you should contact the IRS. You need to consult with a tax attorney to determine the best steps forward for your individual circumstances.
With all of that said, potential causes of a late refund include:
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Some Tax Returns Take Longer To Process Than Others For Many Reasons Including When A Return:
- Includes errors such as an incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amount
- Is incomplete
- Is affected by identity theft or fraud
- Includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit using 2019 income.
- Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process
- Needs further review in general
For the latest information on IRS refund processing during the COVID-19 pandemic, see the IRS Operations Status page.
We will contact you by mail when we need more information to process your return.
Follow Up As Required
It turned out my taxes hit some kind of system error. The first time I called, after the 21-day mark, they said my taxes had an error and the system should resolve the issue itself within the 12-week window after filing.
Once 12 weeks passed, I called again. This time, the gentleman I spoke to said there was a system error that wouldn’t fix itself. He submitted a request to another team to re-process my taxes and said I should get the refund within another eight weeks.
Everyone has a different tax situation. Luckily I wasn’t facing an audit or a penalty. But I did need to call to get my refund resolved. You will probably get different news, but you won’t know until you call to find out.
This article was originally published in August 2019. It was updated in March 2021.
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Financial Help During Covid
Your refund will be automatic if your income is from:
- an employee share-scheme benefit where tax is already deducted
- schedular payments
- New Zealand superannuation .
If youre self-employed or get income from somewhere not listed above, you need to:
Log in to Inland Revenue to see if you have a refund.
While youre there:
- check your contact information is correct
- nominate a bank account where IR can deposit your refund.
What Do I Do If I Havent Received My Refund
If you havent received your tax refund even though its been long enough since you filed your return, your best bet is to contact the IRS to figure out what could have happened. Here are a few possible scenarios:9
For mailed refunds:
- If you moved and didnt notify the IRS, the refund check was probably mailed to your last known address and may have been returned to the IRS.
- It could have been lost or stolen.
For direct deposit refunds:
- The bank account information was incorrect.
- Youre a victim of tax return preparer fraud .
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