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 https://www.irs.gov/refunds.
- The IRS2Go mobile app (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs2goapp) 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.
- Call to demand immediate payment via a specific method such as debit card, credit card, wire transfer or gift card.
- Threaten to immediately involve law enforcement to arrest taxpayers for nonpayment.
- Demand that taxes be paid without allowing the taxpayer to appeal or question the balance due.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers via telephone.
- The IRS WILL typically mail a bill to the taxpayer if there is a balance due.
- This IRS link can help taxpayers determine the characteristics of a tax scam (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-know-its-really-the-irs-calling-or-knocking-on-your-door-0).
Myth: Calling the IRS Is the Most Convenient Way to Obtain Tax Answers or Refund Information
- Taxpayers may encounter significant wait times if they call the IRS.
- Utilizing www.IRS.gov will often be more efficient than calling the IRS.
- The IRS’ website provides many self-service tools (https://www.irs.gov/help/tools).
- Taxpayers may view their tax accounts online (https://www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account).
- The IRS2Go mobile app is also a convenient resource.
Courtesy: Chris Harper, GVSU & Hungerford Nichols
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