Certain individuals receive a few hundred dollars in the form of a tax refund. Others owe the IRS thousands.
In either case, if you’ve already filed your taxes, you’re probably impatient to see your refund posted to your bank account or arrive in the mail. However, if it’s been weeks since you submitted your return and your refund still hasn’t arrived, here are some possible causes for the delay.
1. You submitted a paper tax return.
Certain individuals are accustomed to completing their taxes on paper and choose to continue doing so. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the IRS processes paper tax returns much more slowly than it processes electronically-filed ones.
Three weeks is the normal turnaround time for an electronic return. The typical turnaround time for a paper return is six weeks. Additionally, the IRS is presently dealing with a big backlog of paper returns from last year, which means that if you filed on paper, you may have to wait longer for your tax refund.
2. You made an error when you filed your return.
Generally, the IRS will attempt to remedy math errors and minor, evident errors on a tax return before outright rejecting it. However, if you make a more substantial error, the IRS may be attempting to reconcile it, which could result in a delay in processing your return.
If your return is refused, you will receive notification that you must resubmit it. And the IRS will be unable to send you your money until you do.
3. You entered the incorrect direct deposit details.
Signing up for a direct deposit is one of the simplest methods to receive your tax return. This eliminates the risk of a lost check in the mail, as the IRS can electronically transfer payments to your bank account.
However, if you enter incorrect bank account information — such as an incorrect account number or routing number — when signing up for a direct deposit, the IRS will reject your return. The IRS will then need to reclaim the money and determine how to reissue it to you. As a result? A potentially protracted stalemate.
How to check on the status of your tax refund
In a perfect world, you’d file your taxes and receive your refund within days. However, tax returns take time to process, and occasionally, reasons such as those listed above can cause a delay in processing your refund.
If you’re curious about the status of your refund, the IRS offers a Where’s My Refund tool. To obtain this information, you will require your:
- Number of the Social Security Administration
- Status as a taxpayer
- Accurate refund amount
From there, the IRS should be able to provide you with additional information regarding the status of your return. Bear in mind, however, that it may take up to 24 hours after you submit an electronic tax return for the tool to begin working for you. Furthermore, it may take up to a month if you filed your taxes on paper.
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