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“When will I receive my refund?” IRS.gov has the answer

Posted on April 8, 2019

If you are expecting a refund after preparing your 2018 taxes, it’s good to know when that check will ‘land’ in your mailbox or checking account.

The IRS has the answer to that question – and it’s quick. Simply go to the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov or through the IRS2Go app on your phone.

Don’t call the IRS. You will be on hold for a very long time, as the IRS call centers are very busy this month and chronically under-staffed.

Good news:

  • The IRS issues 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
  • The fastest way to get a refund is to use IRS e-file and direct deposit.
  • Within 24 hours of filing a tax return electronically, the Refund tool can tell you that their returns have been received. That time extends to four weeks if a paper return is mailed to the IRS, (which is another reason to use IRS e-file and direct deposit.)
  • Once the tax return is processed, “Where’s My Refund?” will tell a taxpayer when their refund is approved and provide a date when they can expect to receive it.
  • “Where’s My Refund?” is updated once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check the status more often.

However —

If you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional ChildTax Credit and are getting a refund, it won’t be as fast. By law, your refund will be held a little longer to make sure no additional taxpayers (such as your spouse filing separately or former spouse) claim the same credit.

Here are some Refund FAQs:

  • Will ordering a tax transcript speed up by tax refund?

No. Ordering a tax transcript will not speed delivery of tax refunds nor does the posting of a tax transcript to a taxpayer’s account determine the timing of a refund delivery. If you require a transcript, request that online at Get Transcript.

  • What if your refund is late?

IRS telephone assistors can only research a refund’s status if it has been 21 days or more since you filed electronically — or six weeks since you mailed a paper return.

While the IRS still expects to issue more most tax refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a particular tax return may require additional review and a refund could take longer. Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund.

It is also important to take into consideration the time it takes for a financial institution to post the refund to an account — or for it to be delivered by mail.

If your “Where’s My Refund?” directs you to call the IRS, by all means, do so. Or you can ask your CPA to do some follow up on your behalf. Generally, we can get answers to your questions faster.

If you are stumped about where your refund check is – or why it’s held up – don’t hesitate to call your TPSA CPA. We can help you get answers.