Why Tax Refunds Are Taking Longer Than Usual

Tax refunds typically arrive within 21 days of when you file your individual tax return. One reason it may take longer: if you made a mistake calculating your recovery rebate credit.

Wondering where your tax refund is? In its Covid-19 operations update, the Internal Revenue Service has added an explanation for why in many cases it’s taking longer than the typical 21 days to process tax refunds for individual taxpayers. We’re talking about tax returns filed for the 2020 tax year during the 2021 tax season that opened in February and runs through May 17.

May 17? That’s right. 2020 individual tax returns are due on Monday, May 17—instead of the typical April 15th due date. The delayed due date is because of the many ways the coronavirus pandemic has upended people’s lives and their tax pictures. Note: Quarterly estimated taxes for the 2021 tax year are still due on April 15th, 2021.

As of April 2, the IRS had received 93.2 million returns, had processed 83.7 million returns, and had issued 62.3 million tax refunds, averaging $2,893 each, according to the latest 2021 filing season statistics.

So why are refunds taking longer than usual? For one thing, the IRS is still wading through the backlog of prior year tax returns. As of March 26, there were 2 million individual tax returns received prior to 2021 in the pipeline. That’s down from 2.6 million as of March 5.

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IRS Tax Return 2021: When You Will Get Your Tax Refund 2021? Where is Your Tax Refund 2021? How to Track Your Refund IRS My Refund Status. Tax Refund Dates. Updated New Deadline. IRS Where is My Refund? : https://www.irs.gov/refunds IRS Get Refund Status – https://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en… VITA – https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ California covers topics like: Stimulus Checks, Medicare, Food Stamps (SNAP), Social Security, Unemployment, Rental Assistance , Health Insurance, Tax updates, Student Loan Forgiveness, and Paycheck Protection Program. These stimulus packages come from bills like the CARES act, the recent government spending bill, and potential plans like the American Relief plan, that is being proposed by President Biden. We hope that you find our videos helpful, useful and interesting.

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There are two other main reasons 2020 returns are stuck in the unprocessed pile. For taxpayers who used their 2019 income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit and/the Advance Child Tax Credit, an IRS employee has to validate the return. The second reason is many returns are requiring a correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount claimed on the return.

Neither of these two cases requires the IRS to correspond with taxpayers, but the “special handling” means that it’s taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund. If a correction is made on the return, the IRS will send an explanation letter.

The IRS has a whole Q&A page set up for questions related to 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit corrections after 2020 tax returns are filed. Taxpayers who were eligible but didn’t get the Round 1 or Round 2 stimulus payments (from the March 2020 CARES Act and the year-end 2020 spending package) could claim those payments on their 2020 tax return as a recovery rebate credit.

If you were eligible for the recovery rebate credit but didn’t claim it, you need to file an amended return. If you entered an incorrect amount for the credit on your return, you should NOT file an amended return, the IRS says. The IRS will calculate the correct amount, make the correction to your tax return, and continue processing it.

Some of the reasons the IRS is changing credit amounts include: the taxpayer was claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return, there was an issue with Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers, a child exceeds the age limit (17), or your adjusted gross income was too high.

For the quickest refund, e-file your return and choose direct deposit. To check the status of your refund, use the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool.

Further reading:

Plus-Up Stimulus Payments Start Arriving In Taxpayer Bank Accounts

Tax Refund Scammers Target College Students

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I cover personal finance, with a focus on retirement planning, trusts and estates strategies, and taxwise charitable giving. I’ve written for Forbes since 1997. Follow me on Twitter: @ashleaebeling and contact me by email: ashleaebeling — at — gmail — dot — com

Source: Why Tax Refunds Are Taking Longer Than Usual

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Tax Refund Chart Can Help You Guess When You’ll Receive Your Money In 2021

Hear that? It’s the sound of millions of taxpayers cheering across the country: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the open of the tax filing season. That date is February 12, 2021.

If you want to get your refund as fast as possible, the IRS recommends that you e-file your tax return and use direct deposit (be sure to double-check those account numbers before you send your return). If you file by paper, it will take longer. According to the IRS, eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using direct deposit.

Assuming no delays, here are my best guesses for expected tax refunds based on filing dates and information from the IRS. I can’t stress enough that these are simply educated guesses. I like math and charts as much as the next girl, but there are a number of factors that could affect your tax refund (keep reading)

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refund chart
KPE

* No matter when you filed your tax return, if you claimed the EITC or the ACTC, don’t forget to take into consideration that hold date.

My numbers are based on an expected IRS receipt date beginning on the open of tax season, February 12, 2021, through the close of tax season on April 15, 2021. To keep the chart manageable, I’ve assumed the IRS received your e-filed tax return on the first business day of the week; that’s usually a Monday, but if there’s a holiday (like President’s Day), I’ve skipped ahead until Tuesday. The same logic holds true for issuing refunds. In reality, the IRS issues tax refunds throughout the week, so the date could move forward or backward depending on the day your return was received.

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Other sites may have different numbers but remember they’re just guessing, too: The IRS no longer makes their tax refund processing chart public.

Do not rely on any tax refund chart—this one included—for date-specific planning like a large purchase or a paying back a loan. 

Remember that if you claim the earned-income tax credit (EITC) and the additional child tax credit (ACTC), the IRS must wait until February 15 to begin issuing refunds to taxpayers who claim the EITC or the ACTC (that’s pretty close to the start date). Don’t forget to consider regular processing times for banks and factor in weekends and the President’s Day holiday. The IRS expects to see tax refunds begin reaching those claiming EITC and ACTC during the first week of March for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.

If you want to get your tax refund as fast as possible, the IRS recommends that you e-file your tax return and use direct deposit. Keep in mind that if you e-file, the day that the IRS accepts your return may not be the day that you hit send or give the green light to your preparer. Check your e-filing confirmation for the actual date that the IRS accepts your return.

If you file by paper, it will take longer. Processing times can take more than four to six weeks in the best of times (and these are not the best of times) since the IRS has to manually input data. Don’t forget about postal holidays, too, when counting on the mail. There’s just one official postal holiday during tax season, Monday, February 15 (President’s Day), and one that follows just after tax season, Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day).

Even if you request direct deposit, you may still receive a paper check. Since 2014, the IRS has limited the number of refunds that can be deposited into a single account or applied to a prepaid debit card to three. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will instead receive a paper check. Additionally, the IRS will only issue a refund by direct deposit into an account in your own name, your spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account. If there’s an issue with the account, the IRS will send a paper check.

If you’re looking for more information about the timing of your tax refund, don’t reach out to your tax professional. Instead, the IRS encourages you to use the “Get Refund Status” tool. Have your Social security number or ITIN, filing status and exact refund amount handy. Refund updates should appear 24 hours after your e-filing has been accepted or four weeks after you mailed your paper return. The IRS expect that the refund tool will be updated for those claiming EITC and ACTC, beginning on February 22, 2021. Otherwise, the IRS updates the site once per day, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check more than once during the day.

If you’re looking for tax information on the go, you can check your refund status with IRS2Go, the official mobile app of the IRS. The app includes a tax refund status tracker.

Remember that the IRS will not contact you by phone or by email regarding your refund. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or a debt collection agency regarding your tax refund, hang up immediately: it is a scam. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website

Kelly Phillips Erb

Kelly Phillips Erb Years ago, I found myself sitting in law school in Moot Court wearing an oversized itchy blue suit. It was a horrible experience. In a desperate attempt to avoid anything like that in the future, I enrolled in a tax course. I loved it. I signed up for another. Before I knew it, in addition to my JD, I earned an LL.M Taxation. While at law school, I interned at the estates attorney division of the IRS. At IRS, I participated in the review and audit of federal estate tax returns. At one such audit, opposing counsel read my report, looked at his file and said, “Gentlemen, she’s exactly right.” I nearly fainted. It was a short jump from there to practicing, teaching, writing and breathing tax. Just like that, Taxgirl® was born.

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Gregg Learning

Once the tax liability has been determined, we must consider the final three items in income tax preparation: tax credits, other taxes, and payments. When an overpayment occurs, the taxpayer has the option of receiving a refund or applying the amount of the overpayment to next year’s estimated tax.

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How to Use Your Tax Refund to Rejuvenate Your Business

Getting a nice tax refund back is one of the best feelings in the world for small business owners. The big question is: how to spend that dough? We have a couple of suggestions on how to spend that money so that you can rejuvenate your business in the process.

Spend it on marketing (in the right places).

According to Cyber Alert, non-software companies with revenues less than $100 million spend between 3 percent and 10 percent of revenues on marketing. That’s a pretty decent amount of money to put towards marketing. That’s because, for small businesses, marketing efforts are hugely important when trying to grow their brands and gain new customers.

This year, put some of your tax refund towards marketing your business, but don’t just throw money blindly at your same old marketing tactics. Take this as an opportunity to try something new and really track your ROI. How much did you put in, how many clicks back did it earn? How many new or return customers did it bring in? What was the viewership like? Put some of your refund into trying new efforts and tracking their progress meticulously.

Once you’ve tested a couple new options, you should know what’s most worth your business’s money in the future. Some areas you could spend this money on: boosting different types of posts on Facebook and Twitter, creating advertisements for different social sites, and trying out different press release publication sites.

Thinking of investing in a CRM? We’ve answered your questions in our free e-book.  

Add a pop of color to your office and team-build at the same time.

A couple years ago, we had a paint night at the office after hours. We enjoyed some wine and cheese while an instructor walked us through how to paint a beautiful landscape filled with brightly colored trees. It was such a fun team-building activity, and we ended up with lots of great paintings! We liked them so much, we ended up painting our entire office based on the colors used in the paintings, and then we hung everyone’s painting above his/her desk. Using some of your tax refund on an activity like this is a great way to change up the look of your office and it’s a lot of fun, too.

Replace old equipment.

It’s always good to take inventory of the equipment your business uses on a regular basis. Just as you couldn’t run your business without your employees, you couldn’t run your business without the equipment you use. Though it can be pricey to replace something, it’ll more than make up for it in the long run by ensuring you keep on providing your customers with the best possible products or service, plus, it’ll eliminate the stress of having to worry about whether your equipment will break down on you or not. It’s important to take care of what takes care of you.

By: Deborah Sweeney

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.

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