The 2023 tax season has now officially started and some early taxpayers have already received notifications from Where’s My Refund? and their tax services.
If you’ve prepared and filed your taxes early, keep an eye on Where’s My Refund? This Week. They are doing IRS Hub Testing this week and will be accepting tax returns each day this week.
If you have this refund status while checking Where’s My Refund?, your tax return has been accepted early by the IRS.
Congratulations, your tax return was selected for processing before the official opening date, the IRS only accepts a select number of tax returns as a part of the “Controlled Release Testing” or “HUB Testing” to make sure their systems are up in running smoothly and ready to go for the season.
What is an IRS HUB Testing or Test Batch?
HUB Testing or (Test Batch) is an initial run of a batch of tax returns. The IRS will pull a few early tax returns from all their registered tax preparers to make sure the software is running up to speed.
Every tax season about a week in advance the IRS routinely runs a Controlled Release Process(“test batch”) from various e-file providers (including free online e-file services) every year to test their systems. A small number of e-filed tax returns may be transmitted to the IRS, and taxpayers may see real acknowledgments and rejects as a result. The income tax returns included in this testing procedure are randomly selected from “batches” of completed tax returns that are queued for transmission for the official opening date of January 23, 2023, when the general e-file processing begins. This testing period DOES include not only the acceptance of these tax returns via e-file but also the processing of the returns including the issuing of any tax refunds.
Based on previous years, we’ve seen HUB test returns without EITC/ACTC get refunds, usually during the first round of direct deposits, as long as they filed an accurate and complete tax return with no processing issues.
How many tax returns does the IRS pull for test batches?
- The IRS Processed 164,246,000 tax returns (151,448,000 were E-Filed returns) in 2022 and the number of early filed tax returns selected for test batches may be fewer than a million.
Please Don’t Get Your Hopes Too High… The majority of all e-filed returns submitted will be held until the IRS Modernized e-File (MeF) system opens this year on January 23, 2023.
If my tax return is selected in the test batches will I get my tax refund any sooner?
- If you have a tax return that does not have the EITC/ACTC Credits you could possibly get a refund date as soon as January 21, 2023.
- If your tax return includes the EITC/ACTC Credits and completes the test batches your tax return will still be on hold until after February 15, 2023.
Many different factors can affect the timing of your tax refund after the IRS receives your return. Even though the IRS 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.
Taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit may experience a refund hold. According to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS cannot issue these refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC-related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting February 28, 2023, if these taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
Where’s My Refund? IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app will be updated on February 18, 2023, for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before February 18, some of these filers may see a projected date or a message that the IRS is processing their return. These taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where’s My Refund? or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers, and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.
*Please Remember: no matter how early you e-file your tax return. There is no guarantee that tax returns sent to the IRS Electronic Filing Center from your tax preparation service will be transmitted to the IRS early.