The IRS knows your refund is important to you. It prides itself on paying most refunds within 21 days of charge. But what if your tax refund is delayed, leaving you wondering, “ When will I get my tax return ( meaning your tax refund ) ? ”
It ’ s a fact — “ Where ’ s my refund ” is a common question we get here at H & R Block. And this post will tell you why you may see a stay tax refund .
For 2020 tax returns only: The IRS has indicated your refund may take more than the normal 21 days if you :
- claimed a Recovery Rebate Credit and the amount you claimed does not match what the IRS calculates you are eligible for.
- applied the lookback rule to use your prior-year earned income to calculate your Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
If your refund meets these criteria, the IRS will manually review your reappearance, and it may take an extra 90 to 120 days to receive your refund. The IRS suggests that you continue to check the Where ’ s My Refund locate for updates .
You can find extra details on the IRS web site .
promptly paying out refunds causes business for the IRS and the U.S. Congress. When the IRS quickly issues refunds, there international relations and security network ’ t always enough fourth dimension to check returns for accuracy. And rushing this work creates the opportunity for return errors and improper refunds .
EITC/ACTC Tax Refunds Delayed Until Late February
That ’ south why, starting in the 2017 tax temper, Congress gave the IRS more tools to question refunds. specifically, Congress :
- Moved up the deadline for employers to send Forms W-2, which show taxpayers’ wages and the income tax withholding they paid, and Forms 1099 reporting payments made to independent contractors. The deadline is Jan. 31.
- Delayed refunds containing the earned income credit (EIC) and/or the additional child tax credit (ACTC). The IRS can’t release these refunds before Feb. 15, but the IRS is saying to expect your refund by the first week of March.
Both newly rules mean that, for the first time, the IRS will have the information and the time it needs to question more returns before issuing refunds. however, questioning and delaying refunds international relations and security network ’ t a new concept for the IRS. In fact, respective IRS conformity programs take or hold refunds for millions of taxpayers each class. here are some of the reasons why your tax refund may be delayed :
Reason #1 – IRS Taking Your Refund
When the IRS issues refunds, it chiefly takes or reduces ( offsets ) refunds when taxpayers have debts to pay. here are the two most common situations :
You owe federal taxes, and you haven’t paid:
If the IRS took your refund to pay federal taxes you owe, you ’ ll know it a few weeks after you file your retort. You ’ ll arrive IRS poster CP49, Overpayment Applied to Taxes Owed. If you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate think you owed what the IRS says you owed, the only thing you can do is file an amended tax return to correct the tax or contest any extra tax the IRS charged you ( like a tax bill from an audited account or an underreporting notice ) .
Learn what to do if you can ’ metric ton pay your taxes .
You owe other debts, and you haven’t paid:
The Treasury Offset Program ( TOP ) allows the IRS to take or reduce your refund if you owe early types of debts, including non-tax debts, such as :
- Past-due child support
- Other federal agency payments
- State taxes
- Unemployment compensation repayments
The IRS can ’ metric ton solution questions or resolve disputes related to TOP debts. Taxpayers should call TOP at ( 800 ) 304-3107 for answers .
Spouses who aren ’ thymine responsible can get their part of the refund
If you filed jointly with your spouse, and the IRS took your fully refund for your spouse ’ second debts, you can get your part of the refund. File an hurt spouse claim using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation .
Reason #2 – IRS Holding Your Refund
The IRS can hold your refund and request more information from you in several situations. This doesn ’ metric ton base you ’ re being audited – but it can lead to one if you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate respond with all the information by the deadline .
hera are six of the most common situations when the IRS can hold your fall :
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You mailed in your return, and the IRS flagged a “math error”:
When taxpayers e-file their returns, the e-file procedure catches many return errors and rejects the returns at the prison term of file. If you mail your return alternatively of e-filing it, the IRS is more likely to identify an error after the fact .
The IRS calls most of these errors “ mathematics errors, ” but they aren ’ t limited to arithmetical mistakes. If your Social Security Number ( SSN ) or your dependents ’ information doesn ’ metric ton match IRS records, the IRS can change any related deductions or credits ( like the deduction for your dependent, the EITC or the child and dependent caution recognition ). The IRS can besides change your reelect if you forget to include a comparable agenda or human body to support a subtraction or credit .
If the IRS changes your return, you ’ ll get a letter ( normally IRS notice CP21 ) asking you to correct the erroneousness within 60 days. If you don ’ metric ton provide enough explanation and information, the IRS change is final. At that charge, you would have to amend your return and follow up with the IRS to get your refund .
The IRS suspects identity theft:
IRS identity larceny filters sometimes delay returns and tax refunds until taxpayers verify their identities. If this happens, you ’ ll normally receive IRS Letter 5071C asking you to verify your identity. Until the IRS reinstates its on-line identity verification process, you can verify your identity by providing the IRS Taxpayer Protection Program unit with information from last year ’ s return, your current-year return, and your current-year Forms W-2 and 1099 .
The IRS is challenging tax credit(s) you claimed:
If the IRS doesn ’ thymine think you ’ re eligible to claim the EITC, ACTC, advanced payments of the agio tax credit, or American Opportunity Tax Credit, based on its revert screening filters, the IRS can delay your refund and ask for more information .
technically, this is an IRS audit. If the IRS challenges your EITC claim, you ’ ll normally get Letter CP75, which will ask for proofread that you qualify for the EITC. For an model, see Form 886-H-EIC, Documents You Need to Send to Claim the Earned Income Credit on the Basis of a Qualifying Child or Children for Tax year 2015 .
Learn how to handle an IRS audit .
The IRS identified potential ACA health insurance issues:
It ’ s only been a few years since the begin of the Affordable Care Act requirement for taxpayers to get health insurance coverage, and the launch of the health insurance marketplaces where taxpayers can buy insurance and get tax credits to help them afford premiums .
In 2017, the IRS started receiving millions of information statements related to taxpayers ’ health indemnity coverage ( Forms 1095-A, -B, and -C ), angstrom well as information about tax credits they may have received .
The IRS can use this information to question the accuracy of tax returns and delay potential tax refunds. If your render has discrepancies or a miss reconciliation of the overture payments of the premium tax credit, the IRS can request more information from you to process your rejoinder ( Letter 12C ), or even begin an audited account to charge you penalties for not having required insurance coverage. After you file your return, the IRS may challenge your report of policy coverage if it conflicts with Forms 1095 the IRS has on file .
You need to file an old return:
When the IRS pursues back tax returns, the IRS can freeze any refunds you may be due until you file the erstwhile return. The alone room to fix this publish and get your refund is to file the past-due return. If you owe taxes on the old fall, the IRS will take that sum out of your current-year refund .
Learn how to handle back tax returns .
You’re under audit from an earlier year:
The IRS can delay your tax refund until it completes any audits. This is most park when the IRS is conducting a mail audited account on your EITC or ACTC return from a anterior class. Normally, you ’ ll receive IRS Letter CP88 indicating that your refund is frozen until the IRS completes the audit. If you respond with the requested information by the deadline, the IRS will generally finish the audit within six months and can release your refund .
Handling a Refund Delay – Do Your Research and Respond Right Away
If the IRS is delaying your refund, you ’ ll need to understand why, and navigate the IRS to issue your refund a cursorily as possible. This can be a daunt tax because refund holds can feel like audits. But, be patient, and don ’ triiodothyronine worry. If your tax restitution is correct, it ’ second fair a matter of explaining everything ( and possibly providing some documentation ) to the IRS.
Best course : If you get a notice from the IRS about your refund hold, immediately investigate the cause. hera ’ randomness where to start .
After you understand more about why the IRS delayed your tax refund, and how to respond to the IRS, do indeed right off to avoid far problems .
Your H & R Block tax professional can besides help you investigate the cause of a refund stay and convey with the IRS for you. Learn more about H & R Block ’ randomness Tax Audit & Tax Notice Services .