A Tax Return is the form used to report income and file income taxes with authorities such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Tax Returns allow taxpayers to calculate their tax liability and remit. After you file your tax return, the IRS will review the information you submitted and confirm the calculations are correct. They may compare your return with information received from third parties, such as your employers and financial institutions.
They are also checking your personal information to make sure it matches their records. During this time, you’ll wait 24-48 hours for the IRS to accept your return.
Once you are accepted, you are now on the IRS timetable and they will be the only ones who know the status of processing your tax return and whether you owe taxes or are due a refund.
Just to give you an idea, in prior years, the IRS issued more than 9 out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in less than 21 days in 2016. They are expecting the same results for 2018.
Not to worry. There are a couple ways to check the status of your refund. You can either call the IRS at 800-829-1954 or use the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool, which is actually the fastest option.
As soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund, they will provide you a refund date.
Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days. In the meantime, you can check the status of your income tax return 24 hours after filing it.
The fastest way to get your tax refund is to have it electronically deposited for free into your financial account.
Why should you combine your direct deposit with IRS e-file?
When streamlined, the IRS will likely issue your refund within 21 days.
What are the possible reasons your refund could be delayed?
In order to avoid a delay, consider the following before filing your income tax return.
- Filing an incomplete tax return – This is one of the common causes of delays. Always make sure that you don’t miss any information. Even a single failure to include basic information such as Social Security Numbers of dependents could significantly delay a refund.
Also, don’t forget to include copies of your W-2 or 1099 forms as it also increases processing time, as do missing forms of schedule.
- Computation Errors – It is not a surprise that manually prepared returns frequently include math errors. Some of the most common calculation errors include the following:
- Taxable amount of Social Security income
- Taxable income
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Errors in the amount of taxes withheld
- Estimated taxes paid
- Earned income credit or the increase standard deduction for certain taxpayers
- Social Security Number (SSN) mismatch- To ensure that your SSN and name combination on the return match the information in the Social Security Administration’s database is important, as that is part of the IRS process for verifying tax return information.
The good news is that with the e-filing process, it checks for many of the most common errors such as Social Security Number/Name mismatch. Those returns that did not pass the e-file check are rejected, allowing you to correct them before you resubmit your return.
- Filing early or late – Sometimes being an early filer can backfire, due to the last minute changes to the tax code or other procedures in some instances.
Late filing could also increase the possibility that you’ll fall victim to identity theft – when someone uses your SSN to file a fake return and claim a refund. If this happens, IRS delays processing returns and it may take several months for them to verify your information and track down the fraudulent return.
- Incorrect direct deposit information – Always triple check your entry when it comes to direct deposit information. A simple mistake in routing or account number can delay a refund for a several weeks or even a month.
- Filing paper tax return – Filing on paper means it will take longer for you to receive your refund. With paper returns, it has to be entered into the computer by hand so it takes them longer to process.
- Amending your Tax Return – Processing an amendment takes an estimated 8-12 weeks from the date the IRS receives the return. In addition to that, amended returns are ineligible for e-filing and must be mailed to the IRS.
Check the refund tracker Status!
Here are the refund statuses that the refund status tracker will display:
- Return Received: Indicates the IRS has received your return and submitted it for processing.
- Refund Approved: Indicates the IRS has approved your return and is in the process of preparing your payment.
- Refund Sent: Indicates your refund has been processed and the funds should hit your bank account within one to five business days.