Myth: All Refunds Are Delayed

  • The IRS issues more than 90% of refunds in fewer than 21 days.
  • Eighty percent of taxpayers obtain faster refunds using e-file and direct deposit instead of legacy methods.
  • Direct deposit remains the safest and fastest way to receive a refund.
  • Refunds may be delayed for some returns for a variety of reasons.
  • Prevention of identity theft and refund fraud remains a high priority for the IRS.

Myth: Delayed EITC and/or ACTC Refunds Will be Delivered by February 15

  • By law the IRS may not issue refunds for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February.
  • The IRS estimates that February 27 is the earliest date such refunds will be available.
  • The February 27 estimate assumes that taxpayers utilize direct deposit and that there are no other issues with the return.
  • The IRS is required to delay the entire refund, not just the EITC or ACTC portion.

Myth: Calling the IRS or a Tax Professional Will Accelerate Your Refund

  • It is best to check your refund status online by visiting
  • The IRS2Go mobile app ( is another resource.
  • The IRS updates refund statuses once per day (usually overnight).
  • Also note that requesting a tax transcript will not accelerate the timing of your refund.

Myth: The IRS Will Call or E-mail Taxpayers about Their Refund

  • The IRS will not contact taxpayers via e-mail, text message or social media to obtain confidential information.
  • The IRS will NEVER do any of the following.
  1. Call to demand immediate payment via a specific method such as debit card, credit card, wire transfer or gift card.
  2. Threaten to immediately involve law enforcement to arrest taxpayers for nonpayment.
  3. Demand that taxes be paid without allowing the taxpayer to appeal or question the balance due.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers via telephone.

Myth: Calling the IRS Is the Most Convenient Way to Obtain Tax Answers or Refund Information

Courtesy: Chris Harper, GVSU & Hungerford Nichols

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