Tax Refund Tips from the IRS

By Peggy Olive, Financial Capability Specialist

Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a taxpayer’s refund may take longer. Several factors can affect the timing of a taxpayer’s refund after the IRS receives their tax return. Here are a few things taxpayers should keep in mind if they are waiting on their refund but hear or see on social media that other taxpayers have already received theirs.

  • It can take longer for the IRS to process a tax return that has errors. Therefore, taxpayers should consider filing their return electronically. The e-file software walks the taxpayer through the steps of filling out the return and does all the math.
  • By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund. This includes the portion of the refund not associated with EITC or ACTC.
  • It can take banks or other financial institutions time to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account. It can take even longer for a taxpayer to receive their refund check by mail.

Additional refund tips and a link to a social media post on this topic is found on the IRS website at the link below:

IRS Website Link

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