Written By: Sasha Feagin
When a person finally files his tax return, sneaking in moments before the deadline, only to find the government owes him money back, suffice it to say, that guy wants his refund as soon as possible. However, there are various factors that affect the length of time it will take for a refund check to come back to the taxpayer. Knowing the basic timeframe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses is imperative to soothing worries that always come during the tax season.
When was the return filed?
It is only logical that the IRS cannot issue a refund if it does not know a refund is due. The only way the IRS is aware it owes a taxpayer money is for that taxpayer to, by way of filing an income tax return, request those funds. A tax return submitted electronically will begin processing immediately, usually being confirmed within three days. A return submitted via the postal service will take significantly longer to arrive at the IRS for processing. Taxpayers that mail returns are urged to wait at least one week (7 days) before asking for information about the status of the return.
When will the refund be processed?
Once the IRS receives the return, and it checks all the data for validity. So, in addition to waiting three days for an electronically submitted return or one week for a mailed return, taxpayers should anticipate waiting another seven to fourteen days for the return to be processed. During this time, the IRS could flag a return for audit. It also could reject the return for incomplete information or other arithmetic miscalculations. If the return is flagged or rejected, the taxpayer may not find out about it until seven days later when the letter from the IRS arrives in the mail. However, if the return receives the all clear from the IRS, taxpayers should expect funds to be authorized for disbursement. After the authorization, the taxpayer must still wait until the next refund disbursement date during the season. Because of the number of refunds the IRS must process, it does bulk delivery of funds on one day per week during the season to minimize expenses. Usually, !
this is the Tuesday after funds are authorized for release.
Who knows where tax refund checks are?
In recent years, the IRS has employed technology to make finding information about the taxpayer’s refund check very accessible to the average American. The fastest and easiest way to find out where a refund check is, is to use the IRS’s “Where is My Refund?” link on irs.gov. Taxpayers can enter information from the tax return such as filing status, refund amount, and social security number to find out where in the process the refund is. If a taxpayer has been waiting over 21 days for the refund, the IRS advises the taxpayer to call 1-800-829-1040. The 21 day suggestion should not include time added for mailing either the return to the IRS or the refund to the taxpayer.