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When Will We Get Our Tax Refund 2021

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When You Will Receive Your 2021 Tax Refund And How To File Electronically

(Update) Tax Refund Delay 2021 | IRS Short Staffed

The IRS states in its FAQ section that most refunds are issued within 21 calendar days. However, there’s a disclaimer stating that due to processing issues caused by the pandemic, it may take longer to deliver your refund.

Additionally, how you file your taxes can affect how long it takes to track the status of your refund. If you file electronically like the vast majority of Americans do you can start tracking your tax refund status within 24 hours of filing on the Where’s My Refund site. However, if you file by mail, your processing time extends to at least four weeks to see your payment status on the site.

So if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you may want to consider filing electronically with a tax service like TurboTax or H& R Block to avoid issues like waiting for months to receive your refund or even losing your tax files altogether. Select ranked TurboTax as the best overall tax-filing software and as the best free tax software. These services can help you maximize deductions and increase your refund.

Also keep in mind that you can file your taxes online for free through the IRS if your adjusted gross income was less than $73,000 in 2021.

Utilise The ‘temporary Full Expensing’ Measure

Chapman shared that if you’re running a business, the temporary full expensing’ measure “allows you to claim an immediate tax deduction for all capital purchases , rather than depreciating the cost over several years, as used to happen.”

This, he explained, can be used for tech purchases, tools or even office furniture – depending on your business.

“The allowance is available to all businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $5 billion,” Chapman shared.

“Remember, as well as making a purchase, the asset you acquire also has to be used or available for use in your business, so realistically you need to get the item delivered and installed by 11:59PM on 30 June.”

Earned Income Tax Credit Has New Twist

The earned Income tax credit is a potential spot for errors. The credit has been used by ID thieves who file phony returns, so the IRS must work to detect fraud.

This tax season, the earned income tax credit can be claimed on a 2020 tax return based on someone’s 2019 or 2020 income this year. The new provision was put into place when the second COVID-19 economic relief package was signed by then-President Donald Trump on Dec. 27.

Many people who lost jobs or saw reductions in pay in 2020 would have received far less EITC money if they could not take their 2019 earnings into account.

Williams, who worked as a babysitter in 2019 but didn’t work in 2020, is able to use her 2019 income to claim the earned income tax credit on the 2020 return, according to Brown, who is her tax preparer.

Her tax situation is complicated by the fact that she’s now claiming her granddaughter as a qualifying dependent in order to receive stimulus money for the child.

Amended returns for 2018 and 2019 were filed to claim the granddaughter as a dependent.

Brown said Williams meets all requirements to claim her granddaughter, and the girl’s father did not file a tax return to claim her.

“She can prove residency through school records,” Brown said. “No one claimed her on their taxes.”

Brown said the 2020 refund for Williams should have been issued by mid- or late March. The amended returns might take longer, but he’s seeing delays there, too.

She has received no information from the IRS.

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What If I Filed My Tax Return On Time But Haven’t Gotten My Refund

There are several reasons why your tax return may not have been completely processed yet, resulting in a delayed refund. You may have made errors on your return that required manual processing, or simply included an uncommon form. Regardless of the reason for the delay, if the IRS does not issue your refund within 45 days after receiving your return, the agency is required to start paying interest on your refund amount.

The 45-day time period starts on either the day that the tax return was due, or when your “processible” tax return was received by the IRS, whichever is later. If you electronically filed on time, the count started on April 18 if you filed a paper return, it began on the day that the IRS marked your return as accepted.

The bad news is that any IRS interest you receive with your refund will be taxable income, much like the interest you would earn from a checking or savings account. The good news is that interest on overpayments to the IRS will rise to 5% starting July 1. The IRS interest rate for overpayment is set at the federal short-term interest rate plus 3 percentage points. With the Federal Reserve raising rates by 0.75% in early June, a full point increase to the IRS interest rate will take effect next month.

Still Waiting For Your Tax Refund The Irs Might Owe You More Money

Tax Day 2021: When

If you filed your tax return on time, and you haven’t received your expected tax refund yet, the IRS probably owes you interest.

Katie Teague


Katie is a Writer at CNET, covering all things how-to. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.

Dan Avery


Dan is a writer on CNET’s How-To team. His byline has appeared in Newsweek, NBC News, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Daily Mail and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.

Peter Butler

How To and Money writer

I’m a writer/editor for CNET How-To and Money, living in South Berkeley, CA with two kids and two cats. I enjoy a variety of games and sports — particularly poker, ping-pong, disc golf, basketball, baseball, puzzles and independent video games.

The deadline for filing US income taxes passed on April 18, and most Americans have received the tax refunds coming their way. The final IRS filing report for the 2022 tax season shows that the agency issued more than 96 million refunds for an average of $3,039 each.

Read more: 8 Reasons Your Tax Refund Might Be Delayed

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Important Notice For Tax Time

Did you know that identity theft, especially around tax season, is running rampant? People’s credit information was stolen at Target, Home Depot, even The State of California. Now’s a great time to make sure that your credit is safe.

Credit Karma: Second, now is a great time to check your credit report and make sure that there are no issues. You should be checking your credit at least once per year, and tax time is a great time to do it. We recommend using because its free! Plus, has a lot of great tools to help you improve your credit if you need to, and they can help you monitor your credit over time.

Seek Out An Expert’s Advice

The best thing anyone can do if they’re feeling unsure about tax time is to reach out to an accountant. Chapman shared that “they can identify exactly what you need to do to get into shape for the 2022 tax season and maximise your deductions”.

Planning on lodging your tax return yourself this year and want more advice? While, of course, a financial expert or accountant is your best source of information, there are some other nuggets of information that may help you out this tax time.

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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:

  • Select your name in the upper right-hand corner of your Account Summary homepage.
  • Select Preferences, then select Electronic communications from the expanded menu.

    Sample of Individuals account type in Online Services

  • Choose the Electronic notification options you want to receive email about. To receive a notification when your refund is issued and other electronic communications about your income tax refund, select both options.

    Sample of Bills and Related Notices screen in Online Services.

  • Read the Acknowledgement section.
  • What If I’m Looking For Return Info From A Previous Tax Year

    15 Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions, Credits and Exemptions. Want to lower your tax bill?

    The Where’s My Refund tool lists the federal refund information the IRS has from the past two years. If you’re looking for return details from previous years, you’ll need to check your IRS online account.

    From there, you’ll be able to see the total amount you owe, your payment history, key information about your most recent tax return, notices you’ve received from the IRS and your address on file.

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    What To Do With Your Tax Refund

    Through Feb. 4, 2022, over 4.3 million people have received their tax refund at an average of $2,201 per person, according to the IRS. And with many Americans unable to afford a $1,000 emergency, a refund of that size is extremely helpful.

    If you receive a tax refund, here are some starting points of where you can send those funds:

    Irs Takes On More Duties

    This tax season is unlike any other.

    The IRS has been handling rollouts for three stimulus programs since April 2020.

    Now, the IRS is preparing to launch a way to send money each month to families who qualify for an expanded child tax credit. That effort is to begin in July.

    In addition, the IRS is taking steps to automatically refund some tax money relating to jobless benefits money this spring and summer.

    The follow-up refunds would apply to people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent tax break for unemployment benefits was put into place as part of the American Rescue Plan.

    The first special refund payouts will likely be made in May, and they will continue into the summer.

    A tax rule change that excludes a portion of unemployment benefits from being included as income was signed into law March 11, roughly a month after the 2021 tax season began. Tax forms and tax software had to be updated after the season started to reflect the change.

    Right now, the IRS said tax returns are opened in the order received.

    “As the return is processed, 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,” the IRS said.

    “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.”

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    When The 2021 Tax Season Starts

    The IRS has already started accepting and processing 2020 tax returns. The 2021 tax season started on Feb. 12, which is roughly 16 days later than the tax season started last year. Taxpayers can submit their tax returns with tax software companies. The last date for corporations and individuals to file their 2020 tax returns is April 15.

    Where Is My Tax Refund Check

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    You can check the status of your federal tax refund as soon as 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return. Please note the IRS only updates the status of your refund once a week, on Wednesdays. So checking back several times a day throughout the week wont normally give you any new information. The quickest and easiest way to get this information is to go to the Wheres My Refund page. Or, call 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477.

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    How Should You Request To Receive Your Refund

    The IRS gives you three options for receiving your refund:

    • direct deposit
    • paper check
    • deposit into US Savings Bonds

    You can also apply a refund to any future taxes owed. This is a popular choice among some small business owners who are required to pay estimated taxes.

    Of the three refund options available to you, direct deposit is the fastest and safest option. You can receive your refund via an ACH bank transaction in as little as a few days. Paper checks, however, can take over a week to process, several days to travel via the postal system, and several days to clear your bank.

    *Note: Some tax software companies also offer the option of receiving a tax refund on a prepaid debit card. Im not particularly fond of this option, but it is available to some tax filers. In this case, the refund is first sent to the tax preparation company, then they issue you the prepaid debit card.

    About Where’s My Refund

    Use Where’s My Refund to check the status of individual income tax returns and amended individual income tax returns you’ve filed within the last year.

    Be sure to use the same information used on your return: Social Security Number, Tax Year, and Refund Amount.

    If you submitted your return electronically, please allow up to a week for your information to be entered into our system.

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    Checking Status Of Your Refund

    Taxpayers can check the status of their refund at the IRS site “Where’s My Refund?”

    People will need to know their Social Security number or their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, their filing status and their exact refund amount.

    The IRS says people can start checking the status of their refund within 24 hours after an electronically filed return is received by the agency, or four weeks after a taxpayer mails a paper return.

    The tool will provide information about three phases of processing: Alerting the taxpayer when their return is received, when their refund is approved and when the refund is sent.

    How Long Does It Take To Get A Tax Refund

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    The IRS usually issues federal tax refunds within three weeks. Some taxpayers may have to wait a while longer, especially if there are errors in your return.

    When an issue delays your return, its resolution “depends 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,” according to the IRS website.

    The date you receive your tax refund also depends on the method you used to file your return.

    If your tax refund goes into your bank account via direct deposit, it could take an additional five days for your bank to put the money in your account. This means if it takes the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to deposit it, you could be waiting a total of 26 days to get your tax refund. Online services like Venmo and Cash App can deliver your tax refund a few days sooner since there’s no waiting period for the direct deposit.

    If you submitted a tax return by mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive once it’s been processed.

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    Some Call Tax Season A ‘big Mess’

    The IRS had received 100.9 million returns through April 9, down 3% from the year-ago timeframe. It processed 91.15 million individual tax returns through April 9, down 6.8% from a year ago.

    At the same time, roughly 9.5 million fewer federal income tax refunds were issued through April 9 a 12.3% decline compared with the same time last year, according to IRS statistics. Through April 9, the agency hadissued 67.7 million income tax refunds averaging $2,888.

    Real-life challenges at the IRS include dealing with a COVID-19 related backlog of returns from 2019.

    As of April 9, the IRS said it had yet to complete 1.5 million individual tax returns received last year but the IRS said those returns are in the processing pipeline.

    “We are processing returns received over the summer and fall in 2020 due to the extended July 15, 2020, tax filing due date,” the IRS said.

    IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, who spoke before the Senate Finance Committee on April 13, said the 2021 tax filing season “continues to go smoothly.”

    Not everyone agrees.

    “It’s a big mess,” said Antonio Brown, a CPA in Flint, Michigan.

    As of mid-April, Brown said he had about 15 clients who continued to wait for their refunds.

    “They’ve been contacting me almost weekly,” Brown said. “And every time I check the IRS website, it says that the refund is being processed and the refund date has yet to be determined.”

    They’re “the very ones that need the refunds to help through these tough times,” Brown said.

    Tax Refund Schedule For Extensions And Amended Tax Returns

    The refund schedule should be the same if you filed for a tax extension, however, there is no official schedule for tax refunds for amended tax returns. The above list only includes dates for e-filing an original tax return. Amended tax returns are processed manually and often take 8-12 weeks to process. If you do not receive an amended tax return refund within 8 weeks after you file it, then you should contact the IRS to check on the status.

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