IRS Refund Problems Cause Delays

Many taxpayers are frustrated by IRS delays and a lack of information from Where’s My Refund

Going into this tax season we knew that refunds were going to be delayed. Right off the bat the IRS increased the time frame within which most people can expect their refund. Instead of the old 8-15 days it suddenly became “under 21 days.”

Then the fiscal cliff nuttiness in Congress pushed the start of the season back two weeks to January 30th. These two changes alone meant that lots of people would be getting their money 2-3 weeks later than usual.

But as the tax season has progressed, the IRS has run into even more problems. Before the start of the season this year the IRS made some changes to its system to try to cut down on instances of tax fraud and identity theft, which affected over a million taxpayers last year. This is a huge relief to anyone who’s had their Social Security number or refund stolen.

Once the season started, however, the IRS discovered some problems with this new system that required a little fine-tuning. These adjustments caused many returns to be delayed for an additional week. Continue reading “IRS Refund Problems Cause Delays”

For 2011 Taxes, Avoid the Problem of Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds

E-File taxes for 2011 and request direct deposit to get your refund faster

One of the perennial tax questions, asked by thousands of taxpayers every year, is “When will I get my tax refund from the IRS?” For most, the refund is just slow in getting to them. But for some, their refund really is lost.

In November, over a month after the final deadline to file 2010 taxes, the IRS announced that it was in possession of $153 million in unclaimed federal tax refund checks.

99,123 taxpayers that were due a refund were without their money, thanks largely to errors on the IRS mailing addresses for the refunds that rendered the checks undeliverable. The average check amounts to the tidy sum of $1,547. Continue reading “For 2011 Taxes, Avoid the Problem of Unclaimed Federal Tax Refunds”

Where’s My Tax Refund?

How to check the status of your 2010 tax refund from the IRS

You did your part. You filed your taxes and now you’re waiting on the refund. It’s an age-old question, the one that inevitably follows the sublime exhaustion of finally getting your return off to Uncle Sam: Where’s my 2010 tax refund?

First, take note that even under the best of circumstances, your tax refund is going to take some time: typically 8-15 days for direct deposit e-filers, 3 weeks for paper check e-filers, and up to 6 weeks for filers by mail.

If your tax refund is taking a long time or you are just curious about its status:

  • Go to the IRS website and use the Where’s My Refund? tool. All you have to do is pop in your social security number, filing status, and refund amount to get a status update.
  • Alternately, the IRS has an app, IRS2Go, for the iPhone and for Android that let’s you check your refund status on the go.
  • Or call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954.
  • E-filers should have their tax refund status posted online within 72 hours.
  • Paper returns should have a status online within 3-4 weeks.
  • If you filed before July 1, the information will stay online until the first week of December.
  • If you filed after July 1, or your refund check was returned to the IRS as undeliverable, the information will stay online until you file taxes the following year.
  • Your return may not have been accepted by the IRS. Check the status of your e-filed return.
  • If you requested a direct deposit, the account and routing numbers could be incorrect and if you requested a paper check your address could be incorrect.
  • There could be an error on the return itself. The IRS provides a list of common errors that could be responsible for holding up your return.
  • Or the IRS could have flagged your return for review, increasing processing time, or even selected you for an audit.
  • If your normal income tax refund is delayed, this could be the case for any number of reasons.

In the case of an audit, the IRS will contact you, but if there is any other problem or delay with your return, the status on Where’s My Refund will most likely ask you to contact the IRS. You’ll have to call the IRS at 800-829-1954 or 800-829-4477 to talk to a real live person and resolve the fate of your 2010 tax refund.

You also may be wondering about the timing of this information. For example, when does the information go up? How long does it stay online?