As many taxpayers have noticed, refunds have been slower than usual for the past few years. This is due to a variety of issues, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages. Fortunately, the IRS has issued a tax refund return timeframe about when taxpayers can expect to get their refund this year. However, there are steps that you can take to get your refund as quickly as possible.

Tax Refund Timeline

The IRS has said that this year’s tax refund will go faster than last year did. According to publications from the IRS, a rough tax refund timeline is as follows:

  • 6-8 weeks if you file a paper tax return
  • Less than three weeks if you file electronically, and even faster if you file via a direct deposit

Individuals who are waiting longer than this time period are encouraged to contact the IRS via phone, and specifically by calling the IRS TeleTax System at 1-800-829-4477. Alternatively, you can also use the IRS’ Check My Refund website to determine your tax refund return timeframe. This app has the most up-to-date information about the status of your refund and when you can expect to get it. 

Keep in mind that COVID has not only complicated the process more than usual but has resulted in numerous direct financial aid programs that may have a more complicated impact on your tax filing timeframe. 

Check Your Information

Many factors can unquestionably delay your receiving your tax refund. The number one issue? A failure to have accurate information. Any typos or mistakes — particularly those of financial information, like your bank account or routing number — can result in a delay in you getting your money. This is why it is absolutely critical that you check your information before filing it. 

Indeed, the chief factor that delays the processing of refunds is errors. If an error is significant enough, it may necessitate a manual review. As you can imagine, manual reviews are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and limited by major IRS staffing shortages that have persisted for the past few years. As such, if you want your refund in a timely manner, make sure to check it! 

Checking your information will not only ensure that you get your money as quickly as possible but will also ensure the accuracy of your data. This, in turn, can reduce the odds of an audit. 

Factors That May Delay Your Tax Refund Return Timeframe

Unfortunately, your tax refund timeline can be delayed by many factors. This includes:

  • A failure to completely and accurately fill out your information. 
  • Corrections related to certain items, including the Child Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit, an Earned Income Tax Credit Claim, or an Addition Child Tax Credit Claim.
  • A form 8379. This form, known as the Injured Spouse Allocation, is notorious for delaying claims – potentially by as much as 14 weeks.

If you realize that you have made a mistake in your tax refund, do NOT file a second refund. Instead, file an amendment. A second tax return can complicate the process and cause significant delays. 

Unfortunately, if you are experiencing delays in getting your refund, you aren’t the only one. Thankfully, there are things you can do to accelerate the tax refund timeline and get your refund fast. Need more help? Reach out today to the CPA Nerds, and learn more about how we can help you get your refund fast!