While filing taxes is never enjoyable, the majority of people look forward to receiving a refund check at the end of the process. However, when you receive your refund is partially dependent on how you filed your taxes. If you’ve made any of the following three errors, you may be in for a lengthy wait.
1. Submitting an incorrect tax return
The IRS reviews tax returns for errors and, if one is discovered, notifies you via mail and requests that you correct it. This can add time to the process and delay your tax refund.
There are numerous errors that could result in this type of problem. Some of the more common ones include incorrectly reporting your income on your tax return or failing to complete all necessary tax forms. Additionally, if a few digits in your Social Security number are transposed, this can create complications.
2. Incorrectly listing the bank account number
Nowadays, the majority of people receive their refunds via direct deposit. This is the method by which the IRS deposits funds directly into a bank account specified by you. You’ll need to provide the routing number, which indicates the bank to which you want the funds sent, and the account number, which instructs the IRS to send the funds to a specific account within that bank.
If you entered the incorrect account number, there is a chance you will not receive your refund at all. It may be transferred to another person’s bank account without your knowledge and there may be nothing you can do about it. However, you may be able to halt the direct deposit by contacting the IRS immediately.
If you provided an invalid account number, the IRS will send you a paper refund check instead. While this will take longer to arrive, you will not have to worry about it going to someone else.
3. Submitting a paper tax return
The IRS processes paper returns more slowly than e-filed returns. After filing a paper return, it may take up to eight weeks to receive a paper refund check. By contrast, if you file electronically and request direct deposit, you can receive your refund in less than three weeks.
If you’ve already filed a paper return this year, your only option is to wait. However, in the future, you may want to consider filing electronically to expedite your refund.
When can you expect to receive your refund?
The IRS offers a Where’s My Refund? tool to assist you in determining the status of your tax refund following the submission of your return. To make use of this, you’ll need to understand the following:
- Your status as a tax filer for the return in question
- The precise amount of the refund
- You can begin tracking your return 24 hours after it is e-filed or four weeks after it is mailed. Daily, the IRS updates the system.
Contact the IRS only if it has been more than 21 days since you e-filed your return, if the Where’s My Refund? tool directs you to do so, or if you receive correspondence from the IRS. Never respond to texts, emails, or phone calls ostensibly from the government. It will not contact you in this manner, and it is most likely a scammer attempting to obtain your refund check.
Nobody enjoys waiting for their tax refund, so keep the aforementioned errors in mind the next time you file taxes. Whenever possible, file early and electronically to expedite the processing of your refund.