With tax season upon us and the last day to file (April 15th) only a few weeks away, many Long Islanders are gearing up to put their refunds to good use. Whether that money is being used to pay off bills and loans, saved for a rainy day, invested in a retirement or education fund, or splurged on that new HD TV, most people can’t wait to get ahold of their newfound finances from the Internal Revenue Services. Of course before any of the money is spent, tax payers will have to wait for their refund to arrive.
So just when can you expect to see your check from the IRS? Well, there are multiple factors that will determine that.
The IRS states that it issues refunds to over 90% of filers within 21 days. Those who are most likely to actually fall within the timeframe are people who have chosen to file their returns electronically. E-filing shaves down the time it takes for the IRS to receive your tax return, and makes it easier for federal workers to process the relevant documents. Likewise, anyone who decides to accept direct deposit of his or her refund will get it quicker than those who choose to wait for a check in the mail.
Paper returns will take significantly longer to process, and the IRS’ web tools will not even be able to provide updates on their status until four weeks after they have been sent. Phone and in-person representatives will need an additional two weeks on top of that before they can look into a paper returns’ status.
After you have sent your return, the quickest way to check on its progress is through the IRS’ “Where’s My Refund?”web tool. You’ll need to enter your social security number, filing status, and exact refund amount so you may want to write down that total for reference.
While those who mail in their refunds will have to wait four weeks before the tool is of any use to them, e-filers will be able to check on their status just 24 hours after completion. The tool will show your status as one of three stages—Received, Approved, or Issued—depending on how far along it is. Where’s My Refund? updates every 24 hours, so there is no need to check back more than once a day.
To get your refund as quickly as possible you’ll want to make sure it can be processed with ease; before you send it you should read it over, review it, and then review it again. Missing information and errors can add a lot of time to processing and may require the IRS to ask you for corrections which will lengthen the wait even further.
Video via official IRS Youtube page.