INFORMATION ON REFUNDS 2017
Refunds Held for Those Claiming EITC or ACTC Until Mid-Feb
By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if direct deposit was used and there are no other issues with the tax return. This additional period is due to several factors, including the Presidents Day holiday and banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits. This law change, which took effect at the beginning of 2017, helps ensure that taxpayers receive the refund they’re due by giving the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.
As always, the IRS cautions to rely on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Though the IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, some returns require further review
Should You Call the IRS?
The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, although some require additional time. You should only call if it has been:
21 days or more since you e-filed
6 weeks or more since you mailed your return
"Where's My Refund" tells you to contact the IRS
TAX SEASONS MOST ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR REFUNDS:
How quickly will I get my refund?
We issue most refunds in less than 21 calendar days.
I’m counting on my refund for something important. Can I expect to receive it in 21 days?
Many different factors can affect the timing of your refund after we receive your return. Even though we issue most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible your refund may take longer. Also, remember to take into consideration the time it takes for your financial institution to post the refund to your account or for you to receive it by mail.
It's been longer than 21 days since the IRS received my return and I haven’t gotten my refund. Why?
Some tax returns take longer to process than others for many reasons, including when a return:
Is affected by identity theft or fraud
Includes a claim filed before Feb. 15 for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit
Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process
Needs further review in general
We will contact you by mail when we need more information to process your return.
I claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on my tax return. When can I expect my refund?
• By law, the IRS is required to hold EITC and ACTC refunds until February 15. However, taxpayers may not see those refunds until the week of February 27 - if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit.
• Where’s My Refund? be updated on February 18 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before February 18, some taxpayers may see a projected deposit date or an intermittent message that the IRS is processing their return.
Will calling you help me get my refund any faster?
No. Our phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your refund 21 days after you filed electronically; 6 weeks after you mailed your paper return; or if Where’s My Refund? you to contact us.
What information does Where’s My Refund? ?
It has information on the most recent tax year have on file for you.
When can I start checking Where’s My Refund? my status?
24 hours after we’ve received your electronically filed tax return or 4 weeks after you’ve mailed a paper tax return.
Will Where’s My Refund? me when I’ll receive my refund?
No. We must first process your return and then approve your refund. Where’s My Refund? give you a personalized date once we approve your refund.
Will ordering a transcript help me find out when I’ll get my refund?
A tax transcript will not help you find out when you’ll get your refund. The have about your account does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of your refund. They are best used to validate past income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications, and to help with tax preparation.
I’m a nonresident alien. I don’t have to pay U.S. income tax. How do I claim a refund for federal taxes withheld on income from a U.S. ? When can I expect to receive my refund?
To claim a refund of federal taxes withheld on income from a U.S. , a nonresident alien must report the appropriate income and withholding amounts on Form 1040NR U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return. You must include the documents substantiating any income and withholding amounts when you file your Form 1040NR. We need more than 21 days to process a 1040NR return. Please allow up to 6 months from the date you filed the 1040NR for your refund.
How will I know you’re processing my tax return?
Where’s My Refund? your tax return from receipt to completion. It will tell you when your return is in status and if your refund or sent status.
What is happening when Where’s My Refund? my tax return status as received?
We have your tax return and are processing it.
What is happening when Where’s My Refund? my status as approved?
We’ve approved your refund. We are preparing to send your refund to your bank or directly to you in the mail. This status will tell you when we will send the refund to your bank (if you selected the direct deposit option). Please wait 5 days after we’ve sent the refund to check with your bank about your refund, since banks vary in how and when they credit funds. (It could take several weeks before you receive a mailed refund check.)
How long will it take for my status to change from received to refund approved?
Sometimes a few days, but it could take longer.
Does Where’s My Refund? display my refund status showing the different stages of return received, refund approved and sent?
No, not always. Sometimes, when we are still reviewing your return, instead, it will display instructions or an explanation of what we are doing.
Does Where’s My Refund? often?
Once per day, usually at night. There’s no need to check more often.
Will Where’s My Refund? me my amended return’s status?
No, it won’t give you information about tax returns. Where’s My Amended Return? give you the status of your amended return. (Our phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your amended return 16 weeks or more after you’ve mailed it.)
I requested a direct deposit refund. Why are you mailing it to me as a paper check?
There are three possible reasons. They are as follows:
We can only deposit refunds electronically into accounts in your own name, your spouse's name or in a joint account.
A financial institution may reject a direct deposit.
can’t deposit more than three electronic refunds into a single financial account.
Why is my refund different than the amount on the tax return I filed?
All or part of your refund may have been used (offset) to pay off past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. To find out if you may have an offset or if you have questions about an offset, contact the agency to which you owe the debt.
We also may have changed your refund amount because we made changes to your tax return. You’ll get a notice explaining the changes. Where’s My Refund? reflect the reasons for the refund offset when it relates to a change in your tax return.
Tax Topic 203 - Refund Offsets for Unpaid Child Support, Certain Federal and State Debts, and Unemployment Compensation Debts has more information about refund offsets.
What should I do when the refund I receive is not from my tax account?
Please don’t cash the refund check or spend the direct deposit refund. Send the refund back to us. Tax Topic 161 - Returning an Erroneous Refund – Paper Check or Direct Deposit has more information on what to do.