That is the question of the day.
In years past, the IRS provided tax professionals with a chart showing anticipated refund deposit dates. Returns were processed on a weekly basis, and if your return was efiled by the end of the cycle, you could expect your refund by the following Friday. This year though, they did not publish the chart, and instead are directing taxpayers to the “Where’s My Refund” section of the IRS website.
You can start checking the status of your refund there 24 hours after you’ve efiled or 4 weeks after mailing your return. Once you’re there, you are asked to enter the primary social security number on the return, your filing status, and your expected refund amount. You’re then taken to a page with a status bar- which reminds me of the one Dominos uses on their website to show the progress of the pizza you just ordered. The status bar tells you if they have your return, if it’s being processed, and at a certain point what date you can expect your refund.
It seems that in most cases refunds are coming in a week, which is quicker than in past years, but in some cases refunds are being delayed several weeks. The main hold up from what I can tell is the additional due diligence required in processing returns with Earned Income Credit (EIC). EIC is a program that helps lower income workers by giving them additional funds via a tax refund (above and beyond any tax that was withheld from pay). The amount received depends on your income as well as how many children live with you and get their support from you. While most claimants of the EIC are legitimately entitled to and in need of this assistance, unfortunately fraud is rampant. Scammers file returns claiming kids that didn’t really live with them or manipulate their income to max out the credit amount. Once again, some rotten apples have made it difficult for everyone else, delaying refunds for the folks who probably need them the quickest.
Not to be left out of the apps race, the IRS has an app for you to get tax info and check the status of your refund. It’s called IRS2Go and it’s available for iPhone and Android.
Wondering about your state tax refund? Most state websites have a similar tool to check your status.
For Pennsylvania, check here.
New Jersey, here.
New York, here.