These are some of the most common questions we see on a daily basis.

All Refunds Are Delayed

The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Eight in 10 taxpayers get their refunds faster by using e-file and direct deposit. It’s the safest, fastest way to receive a refund and is also easy to use.

While more than nine out of 10 federal tax refunds are issued in less than 21 days, some refunds may be delayed, but not all of them. By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The IRS began processing tax returns on Jan. 29.

Other returns may require additional review for a variety of reasons and take longer. For example, the IRS, along with its partners in the state’s and the nation’s tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud.

Delayed Refunds, those Claiming EITC and/or ACTC, will be Delivered on Feb. 15

By law, the IRS cannot issue EITC and ACTC refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting Feb. 27, 2018, if these taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. The IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the part related to these credits.

See the Refund Timing for Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit Filers page and the Refunds FAQs page for more information.

Ordering a Tax Transcript is a “Way” to Get a Refund Date

Not Always, but account transcripts include some useful information such as your current cycle code telling you a date of when your return started processing and when you see updates on WMR. Some Other codes WMR does not show but the account transcript show would be refund holds, verification codes, notice issued, etc. these could be added after processing and before you get the 846 refunds issued code. While others may be stuck on a “still being processed” message for months. You can see updates to the transaction codes faster than Where’s My Refund will update. And by creating access to view your current account transcript online, you will also see a DDD before Where’s My Refund updates as well.

The IRS notes that the information on a transcript does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of a refund. While taxpayers can use a transcript to validate past income and tax filing status for a mortgage, student and small business loan applications, the IRS suggests taxpayers should use “Where’s My Refund?” to check the status of their refund.

Calling the IRS or your CPA Will Provide a Better Refund Date

Many people mistakenly think that talking to the IRS or calling their CPA is the best way to find out when they will get their refund. In reality, the best way to check the status of a refund is online through the “Where’s My Refund?” tool at IRS.gov or via the IRS2Go mobile app.

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The IRS updates the status of refunds once a day, usually overnight, so checking more than once a day will not produce new information. “Where’s My Refund?” has the same information available as IRS telephone assistors so there is no need to call unless requested to do so by the refund tool.

Calling the IRS is the Most Convenient Way to Get Answers to Tax or Refund Questions

The IRS encourages people to check IRS.gov first before calling. The official IRS website – IRS.gov – provides many self-service tools for individuals, businesses and CPAs. For example, taxpayers can view their tax account, and get answers to common questions such as eligibility for a tax benefit.

The IRS will Call or Email Taxpayers about Their Refund

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.

The IRS will NEVER:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill if taxes are owed.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have people arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you were a victim of an IRS scam, or have a question about something that seems fishy to you, call me immediately.

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