Where’s My Refund?

Clients not unexpectedly often inquire as to the IRS guidelines for processing client’s refund of taxes reported on client annual Form 1040 tax return. My response to them is to be patient as the IRS will issue, in most instances, a refund within 21 days from receipt of the tax return. Delays can occur if (1) inconsistencies or errors (2) incomplete or omitted tax forms (3) identity theft or fraud red flags (4) tax return includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit or (5) additional information or documents are required.

The IRS will respond by mail with any inquiries to the refund.

I advise my client that phone calls to the IRS will not expedite the refund as the IRS phone reps can only research your claim after the 21-day processing period has expired. In the immediate sense, I advise them that the best approach is follow internet links Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app

The IRS will update your tax refund status 24 hours after your electronic submission or 4 weeks after you’ve mailed a paper tax return. You will see the word “Received” if the IRS is processing it or “Approved” if the IRS is preparing to send your refund to your bank or to you in the mail. Typically it will take five days to reach your bank. If the refund amount was reduced, the reason will be stated.

If your refund amount is different than the amount requested the IRS may have applied part of it to a outstanding tax, interest or penalty balance from prior periods. In rare instances, the reduction can also be a result of outstanding child support, spousal support, student loans and even state taxes.

Occasionally you will receive a paper check in lieu of a direct deposit. This is because the IRS can only deposit the refund in name of taxpayer, and not name of spouse or simply the bank has rejected the direct deposit.

I assure the client that the IRS consistently processes refunds in an efficient manner, and that the client can be confident that they will receive the refund due to them.

Illinois Refunds

Similar to the IRS, Illinois publishes a website at Where’s My Refund? The site will ask you to first enter your social security numbers and state refund amount (Form IL-1040 Line 35 “you want refunded to you”). When electronically filed, you can expect your Illinois direct deposit refund within 28 days. (within six weeks if you paper filed your tax return).