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4 Early Tax Refund Myths Debunked

  • 28 February 2017
  • Author: Alexander Carr
  • Number of views: 2914
4 Early Tax Refund Myths Debunked

The moment your tax forms hit the mailbox, the clock starts ticking on when you might get a refund. The wait can be excruciating and theories abound on how to determine when a refund will come or even how to speed up the process. Is there any truth to these folktales? The IRS issued a statement addressing the top myths surrounding refunds, especially for those who have already filled for the 2017 tax season.

Essentially, here’s what the IRS wants you to know:

1. Not all refunds are delayed.

More than 90 percent of federal tax refunds are issued in the normal timeframe, which is within 21 days. However, recent legislation requires the IRS to hold refunds for tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until mid-February. Other returns may require additional review for a variety of reasons, including those requiring security reviews due to suspected identity theft and refund fraud. If you’ve claimed an EITC or ACTC, the IRS has issued this video with more information about any potential delays.

2. Calling the IRS is not the best way to find out when a refund will be issued.

Calling the IRS (or having your tax professional do so) will not result in more information about when a refund will be coming. Instead, the IRS insists the best way to check the status of a refund is online through the “Where’s My Refund?” tool (available at IRS.gov or via the IRS2Go mobile app). This site is updated once a day, usually overnight. It has the same information available to IRS telephone assistors so there is no need to call unless requested to do so by the refund tool.

3. Ordering a tax transcript will not help.

There’s a myth circulating that ordering a tax transcript is a “secret” way to get information about when a refund will be issued and how much that refund will be. In reality, the information on a transcript does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of a refund. These documents are more useful for validating past income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications, and to help with tax preparation.

4. “Where’s My Refund” isn’t wrong simply because there’s no deposit date listed.

Where's My Refund? ‎isn’t updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers until a few days after February 15. So, if you checked a few weeks ago and didn’t see a date listed, check again now. Refunds will start arriving in bank accounts or on debit cards this week (around February 27) but that’s only if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit.

For more questions and information, feel free to contact us.

Image Copyright: denisfilm / 123RF Stock Photo

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