Most tax refunds are issued within 21 days if a taxpayer e-files and chooses direct deposit. In some cases, it takes longer than 21 days. Optima Tax Relief reviews the factor that can alter the timing of a refund.
If a tax return has errors, or it is incomplete, a manual review may be needed to process the return. Additionally, if a correction is needed for the Child Tax Credit or the Recovery Rebate Credit, it can take up to 14 more weeks to process the return. Each financial institution may also have different timeframes for posting refunds to taxpayer accounts.
The status of a refund can be checked any time using the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS website. Information is usually posted within 24 hours of the IRS acknowledgement of an e-filed return and up to four weeks for a paper return. Using the Where’s My Refund? tool is the fastest and easiest way to check the status of a refund as it allows taxpayers to avoid long wait times for IRS phone calls and walk-in visits. Taxpayers should note that the information provided on the website is the same they would receive via phone or in-person visits.
If a correction is needed, or if more information is needed to process a return, the IRS will contact the taxpayer by mail. If the return was e-filed, the taxpayers should wait at least 21 days before contacting an IRS representative about their missing refund. This amount of time is increased to six weeks or more if the tax return was mailed, or if the Where’s My Refund? tool advises the taxpayer to contact the IRS.