Americans have been wondering for months whether another stimulus check will end up in their bank accounts. It’s a valid question, given how recent inflation has caused living costs to skyrocket.
So, let’s get the bad news out of the way: there will be no fourth stimulus check. Sorry.
For a stimulus to be justified, economic conditions would have to deteriorate significantly. However, the economy is strong and jobs are plentiful right now, so a widespread round of relief is unlikely.
The good news is that you may be eligible for a tax refund. And, if yours is like the average recipient’s, it may be far more generous than the most recent stimulus check.
Are you about to receive a massive windfall?
As of early April, the average tax refund was $3,175, more than double the amount of the previous stimulus check, which was limited to $1,400. The reality is that you may be entitled to a smaller refund. You could also have a larger one. But, in any case, that cash could compensate for the stimulus you won’t be receiving.
When will you receive your refund?
If you waited until the April 18 filing deadline to file your 2021 taxes, you may not receive your refund until the first half of May, assuming you filed electronically. The IRS typically issues refunds for electronically filed returns within three weeks of receipt, and if you opted for direct deposit, you may receive your money sooner.
Having said that, the IRS was extremely backlogged heading into this year’s tax-filing season. As a result, refunds may be processed more slowly than usual.
Furthermore, if you filed your taxes on paper, you should expect to receive your refund in at least six weeks. Because the IRS is overburdened and understaffed this year, it may take even longer (though the agency is hiring new workers in an effort to catch up).
If you need more specific information about your tax refund, the IRS has a special tool you can use. If you filed your tax return on time and electronically, your refund information should be available in that tool at this point. To get an update, enter your Social Security number, tax filing status, and exact refund amount.
If you filed a paper return, it will take much longer for that tool to update. In most cases, you’ll have to wait four weeks before you can access information about your refund and learn when you can expect it.
What happens if your tax refund is delayed?
If there is a problem with your tax return, the IRS will most likely withhold your refund until the problem is resolved. In most cases, you’ll get a letter in the mail along those lines. However, if you haven’t received your refund after 21 days and filed your return electronically, you should contact the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 to inquire.