It is quite well known that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues 90% of the tax refunds within the time period of 21 days. At the same time, there is often a possibility that your tax returns may take a little longer to arrive as it may need some additional review. E-filing for tax returns is gaining tremendous popularity in USA and is one of the fastest and most convenient methods to get the IRS refund. Choosing the option of direct deposit helps to accelerate the entire process even more and allows the IRS refund to directly come to your bank accounts within a very quick turnaround time.
If the entire process takes more than 21 days, taxpayers have the option of checking the status of their application using the "Where's my refund" option on the IRS website. This tool is updated once a day and hence does not require the taxpayer to the check the status too often. The status of the application can be checked within a day of the IRS receiving your tax refund application. In this article, we have listed some of the basic IRS tax refund guidelines which can be helpful for the tax preparation community.
The advantages of e-filing tax returns far outweigh the traditional practice of mailing the tax returns on paper. The status of the IRS tax refund can be checked only after 4 weeks of sending the paper tax return application, whereas, in the case of e-filing, the status is available within 24 hours.
Some of the key guidelines which can be followed by the tax preparation community and therefore help their clients receive their returns faster include -
The IRS website has a very valuable option of checking the status of an e-filing tax return application. This option, known as "Where's my refund", can be used to track the application in real-time. The government encourages the taxpayers to use this option on the IRS2Go mobile app as well which is now available in all the app stores. The status is usually live within 24 hours after e-filing of the application. The Where's my Refund option has a 3-step tracker which indicates the status of your return, including -
Each individual taxpayer needs to use his/her social security number, filing status, and the exact IRS refund amount to check the status on Where's my Refund. It provides a personalized refund date soon after IRS has processed the tax refund and approves it. If the filing of the tax return exceeds 21 days, then taxpayers have the option of calling and consulting the IRS walk-in representatives to enquire about their application status.
If a taxpayer is claiming Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) they can file their tax returns anytime after the season begins. Due to the new PATH Act of 2015, the IRS needs to hold the tax returns of such taxpayers at least till February 15. This is to stop fraudulent returns from taking place and gives the IRS enough time to verify the details of the applicant. Only a small percentage of filers will fall into this category. The status portal and mobile app will be updated with the relevant deposit dates for early EITC/ACTC refund filers. It is important to know that the IRS, tax preparers and the tax software will not have any kind of information on the refund dates.
E-filing combined with the option of direct deposit is the best way to get your IRS refunds within a quick time. The following steps need to be taken by the tax preparer to ensure that the tax refunds are processed quickly for their clients -
The Internal Revenue Service always encourages using the direct deposit method for tax refunds. 80% of the taxpayers use this method as it is one of the fastest and safest methods of receiving the tax refunds. To opt for the direct deposit method, the taxpayer needs to have a bank account number and the routing number. It is important to remember that the taxpayer can get the tax refund in up to a maximum of three bank accounts. There is also a limit of three tax refunds into a single account.
The IRS ensures that most of the IRS refunds are processed as quickly as possible, but there are instances when there are slight delays. Some of the common reasons for delay in tax refunds may be because -
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