“Where is my refund” is a question that will be asked more often by taxpayers. The IRS and states are delaying the issuance of refunds as part of their efforts to reduce the theft of refunds by scam artists. Thus, the increased security measures to combat increased identity theft threaten to delay processing of refund claims this year. One of the changes being made is the sharing of information between states and the IRS to combat ID theft. In a prior posting, we discussed that some states are requesting that taxpayers include their driver’s license information when e-filing.
The IRS has reminded taxpayers that the best way to check the status of a refund is through the “Where’s my Refund?” tool on the Service’s website or via the IRS2Go phone app. The IRS also predicted that it expects to issue 90 percent of refunds in less than 21 days. The other 10 percent will be scrutinized by additional security checks and will take longer to issue.
Taxpayers can use “Where’s my Refund?” to check the status of their return within 24 hours after the IRS has received an e-filed return or four weeks after the receipt of a mailed paper return. “Where’s my Refund?” has a tracker that displays progress through three stages: (1) return received; (2) refund approved; and (3) refund sent. The IRS2Go phone app is another tool that can be used by taxpayers to check the status of a refund.
There will be cases where the taxpayer requested that his/her bank account be sent directly to their bank, but the taxing authority may arbitrarily mail the refund check.
Users of both the IRS2Go app and “Where’s My Refund?” tool are required to have information from their current, pending tax return to access their refund information. The IRS encouraged taxpayers to check the status of their refund online before calling the Service. IRS customer service representatives can only research the status of a refund in limited situations, the Service explained.
What are the best measures to avoid refund fraud? Many would say to file as early as possible. By filing your return early you may just beat the scammers to the punch. A much better way to avoid having your refund stolen is to work with your tax professional ahead of the filing season to that you do not get a refund but rather have a small balance due.
If you want to discuss financial planning or your business or personal tax planning and tax preparation concerns with an experienced tax professional, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.