Posts Tagged ‘e-file’

Where’s My 2012 Federal Tax Refund????

Sunday, January 13th, 2013
The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice.

Note:  The Internal Revenue Service has recently announced that Federal individual tax return filings will not be accepted before January 30, 2013.  It is reasonable to anticipate that there will be a “tsunami” of individual tax returns being filed on that date.   It is also reasonable to assume that tax refunds will take somewhat longer to be received compared to last year.  The information below is provided verbatim from the IRS website, : 

2012 Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions


How quickly will taxpayers get refunds?

  • Following technology improvements, the IRS will issue refunds to more taxpayers in as few as 10 days this year. But taxpayers should keep in mind that many variables can affect the speed of a tax refund.
  • The IRS issues more than 90 percent of refunds within 21 days

Why can’t the IRS tell me the exact date I will get my refund?

  • The IRS reminds taxpayers that refund time frames provided by the “Where’s My Refund?“ IRS2Go smartphone application (app) and tax providers are projected time frames and are subject to revision. Many different factors can affect the timing of the refund after the IRS receives the return for processing.
  • Also, keep in mind that the date “Where’s My Refund“ provides is the estimated date the IRS will issue the refund, not the date the taxpayer will get the refund. It may take up to five additional days for the financial institution to post the refund to your account, or for mail delivery.

Why did my refund date on “Where’s My Refund”change?

Refund dates change in “Where’s My Refund” as a tax return moves through IRS processing. A date change is not a sign of a problem for a person’s tax return. No action is needed by the taxpayer, unless “Where’s My Refund” specifically indicates that an action is needed.

The estimated refund date initially provided via “Where’s My Refund” is just that, an estimate based on a best-case scenario in which the tax return was filed accurately and there are no corrections or reviews required. However, there are many factors that could affect the processing of a taxpayer’s return that may also change the estimated date the refund will be issued. These could include:

  • The IRS balances customer service and tax compliance by reviewing tax returns to prevent fraudulent and erroneous refunds. These critical reviews could add time to refund processing, even for some legitimate returns.
  • The IRS may need time to fix a simple error, like a math error.
  • Refund timeframes can also be affected by such factors as bankruptcy, an open audit or a balance due on a related account such as a different tax year.

If a tax return is affected by one of these factors or by an IRS processing system delay, “Where’s My Refund” will generally provide updated information as that return is processed and/or an updated estimate as the actual refund date becomes more clear.

The date “Where’s My Refund” provided is different than the date my tax preparer or tax software provided. What should I do?

  • The IRS reminds taxpayers that refund time frames provided by “Where’s My Refund” and tax providers are projected time frames and are subject to change. Many different factors can affect the timing of the refund after the IRS receives the return for processing.
  • The IRS issues the vast majority of refunds in 21 days or less so even though the issue date provided to you may have changed, it’s very likely that your refund is on its way.
  • There is no need to call unless you get a specific message indicating that you should. If the IRS needs more information to process your return, they will contact you by mail. The telephone assistors do not process refunds and will not be able to provide additional information.

Will calling the IRS give me additional information or speed my refund?

  • No, calling the IRS won’t do anything to speed your refund. The IRS processes more than 140 million tax returns each year, and our telephone assistors are not the people who actually process tax returns.
  • The best option for taxpayers is to check “Where’s My Refund” or IRS2Go and remember the vast majority of tax refunds will be issued within 21 days.
  • More information about the refund process is available in our YouTube video, When Will I Get My Refund?, and an IRS fact sheet.

Is the estimated date provided by my tax preparer, tax software or “Where’s My Refund” a guarantee of when I will get my refund?

Unfortunately, the IRS cannot guarantee a taxpayer will get their refund on a certain date. While estimates are provided as the return is processed, the IRS emphasizes these are “best-case scenarios” where tax returns are filed accurately and no corrections or review are required.

What might cause a taxpayer’s return to take longer to process?

  • Common errors can delay processing and extend refund timelines. Ensure your refund arrives as expected by submitting an error-free return. Use the correct Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers, address, and bank and routing numbers if electing direct deposit.
  • To balance taxpayer service, quick refunds and tax compliance, the IRS must review refunds to prevent fraudulent and erroneous refunds. These critical reviews can add time to refund processing, even for some legitimate tax returns.
  • The IRS also periodically adjusts its technology systems during the filing season, which can also factor into short refund delays.

What is the best way to file for an accurate return and a fast refund?

  • Using e-file with direct deposit remains the fastest option for taxpayers.
  • E-file remains the best way to ensure an error-free return. However, certain taxpayers, like those claiming the adoption credit, must file paper tax returns so that they can submit required documentation. Paper returns take longer to process.
  • Ensure your refund arrives as expected by submitting an error free return. Use the correct Social Security or taxpayer identification numbers, address, and bank and routing numbers if electing direct deposit.

What’s the best way for taxpayers to check on the status of their refund?

  • You don’t need to call and wait on the telephone. The fastest and best way to check the status of your refund is through the “Where’s My Refund” tool on and the IRS2Go smartphone app.
  • Generally, information about refund status is available about three days after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or four weeks after you mailed a paper return.
  • The IRS works hard to issue refunds as quickly as possible. But the IRS cautions taxpayers not to tie major financial decisions to the receipt of their tax refund by a specific date.

How does the IRS’s Refund Cycle Chart used by tax professionals differ from general refund timelines?

  • The IRS Refund Cycle Chart is a tool provided to help tax professionals provide a best-case estimate when the IRS may issue a refund based on when the return is accepted by the IRS. The refund time frames provided by the Refund Cycle Chart are best-case estimates and subject to revision as many different factors can affect the timing of the refund after the IRS receives the return for processing.
  • The times listed on the Refund Cycle Chart are the best-case scenarios for refunds. These refund times routinely differ from those listed on Where’s My Refund and the IRS2Go smartphone app.
  • It’s important to note that the chart is only for electronically filed returns, but it does show timelines for both direct deposit and mailed checks. The dates on the Refund Cycle Chart are the best-case estimate date the IRS will issue the refund, not the date the taxpayer will receive it. Also, remember many factors can extend refund receipt timelines, including IRS reviews, banking practices and speed of mail delivery.

Tax Refund Tips

Monday, April 4th, 2011

If you provided either your Federal or State government with an “interest free loan” in 2010, it may be time to submit your claim for your income tax refund.  However, there are some important tips and facts that you should know before you file your 2010 tax returns:

  1. Consider e-filing your tax returns -  It will soon become mandatory.  Get on board now.   If you paper-file there will be a delay in the time that your tax return reaches the taxing authorities while it is in the U.S. Postal System.  After it arrives and is sorted, your tax return data will probably be manually keyed in to the IRS system by a seasonal employee and your refund check will be mailed to you six to eight weeks after your tax returns were received.  Add three to seven more days in-transit time while your check  is in the U.S. Postal System and it could be almost nine to ten weeks before your refund check arrives in your mailbox.
  2. Consider using the direct deposit alternative for your tax refunds –  it’s fast, and easy.  Enter your bank name, routing number, and full account number in the appropriate blocks for your paper tax return or tax software (recommended).  If you file your tax return electronically your tax refund will normally be issued within three weeks after you receive an “Accepted” acknowledgement notification from the IRS.  These times will vary with State tax returns.  Ther IRS publishes a refund cycle every year.  Click on this link for the 2011 tax refund cycle information in Publication 2043. 
  3. Revise your Federal and State tax withholding – depending on your tax bracket and total income, an annual income tax refund of  $200-$500 may be acceptable to you to avoid underpayment penalties and interest.  However, if your annual income tax refund is many times this amount, contact your payroll department or revise the amounts for your quarterly estimated tax deposits, or adjust a combination of both factors.
  4. Tax withholding planning tip – if you owe the U.S. Treasury taxes from prior years, an active installment payment plan, partial satisfaction of a tax levy etc the IRS will probably apply your income tax refund to these outstanding balances before determining if any amounts are actually due to you.  A similar practice may be followed by your State taxing authorities.  Read tax planning tip #3 above again!!!  You may need to cancel your reservations for that trip down to St. Barts! (more…)

Where Is Your Federal Tax Refund?

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Although the filing of the 2010 tax returns started later than usual this year (February 14th), if you will be receiving a Federal tax refund you’re probably ready to have it in your bank account as soon as possible.   Your goal should be to take advantage of every opportunity to accelerate the process and receive your income tax refund as quickly as possible.

Among the options that are available to you are to:

1)  e-file – faster processing of your tax returns,  fewer opportunities for processing errors by the taxing authorities, and

2)  direct deposit – if you look at the Federal e-file refund cycle chart on this website you’ll see that direct deposit refunds are sent electronically about eight days after the end of the cycle period. Checks are mailed seven days later. Add 5-7 days for in transit mail time and you should conclude that you’ll have your tax refund about 12-14 days sooner if you wisely select the e-file/direct deposit alternative. You can also track the status of your refund via the “Where’s My Refund” section of the IRS website or by calling 1-800-829-1954.

Note: While most states offer a similar option their refund cycle period may not be on par with the Internal Revenue Service.

If your 2010 tax refund is more than $1,000.00 you may want to consider reducing the amount of your quarterly estimated tax payments or your payroll Federal withholding amount using Federal Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate).  The instructions are included with the form, including a worksheet for your calculations on the reverse side of the form.

 Additonally, if you owe the taxing authority delinquent taxes or are on an installment payment plan, etc you should expect to have your refund applied to that unpaid balance. If there are any remaining funds due you afterwards that amount will be sent to you.

Here is additional information on this subject : (more…)

Individual Tax Return E-Filing Has Begun

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I have received the notification below  from the Internal Revenue Service.  However, you should anticipate some delays in the acceptance (or rejection) notification for your individual tax returns during the coming 7-10 business days as indicated after the notice.  This could also affect state income tax returns.  No issues are anticipated at this time for 2010 business tax returns which are not due until March 15, 2011.

IRS Begins Processing Tax Forms Affected by Late Tax Changes; Taxpayers Can e-File Immediately 

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today it has started processing individual tax returns affected by legislation enacted in December and reminded taxpayers that they can begin filing electronically immediately.

On Monday, IRS systems began to accept and process both e-file and paper tax returns claiming itemized deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, as well as deductions for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees and educator expenses.

“The IRS is now accepting all the 1040 forms,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “We worked hard to update our systems and get the changes in place as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of those impacted by the delay. We urge taxpayers to use e-file with direct deposit, and they can get their refunds within days.”

In late December 2010, the IRS announced it would delay processing of some tax returns in order to update processing systems to accommodate the late tax law changes. These tax law provisions were extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, which became law on Dec. 17.

For the vast majority of taxpayers, the filing season this year began on time in January. Most taxpayers claiming itemized deductions and the other delayed forms file later in the year.

The IRS urged taxpayers who haven’t filed yet to use e-file instead of paper tax forms to ensure accuracy and to get refunds fast. Taxpayers can do their taxes for free through Free File, which is brand-name software or online fillable forms. Free File is available exclusively at  Anyone who makes $58,000 or less can use Free File software. There are no income limits to online fillable forms. Both Free File software and Free File Fillable Forms allow taxpayers to prepare and e-file their federal returns for free.

The IRS worked closely with the tax software industry and the tax professional community during the reprogramming process to minimize disruptions for taxpayers and ensure a smooth tax season.

As a result of these efforts, many major software providers and paid tax preparers started accepting impacted returns before the Feb. 14 start date, which they held and started submitting after the IRS systems opened.

Due to the expected increase in tax return volumes being transmitted this week, the IRS cautioned a small number of taxpayers may experience a brief delay in receiving their e-file acknowledgement, which is normally provided within 24-48 hours. The IRS continues working with the software industry to minimize any impact to taxpayers.

Business taxpayers who use the 1040 series can file now as well. However, the Feb. 14 start date does not apply to non-1040 business tax forms (add link) affected by the recent tax law changes. The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can begin processing those impacted business tax forms.

Updated information has been posted on, including Schedule A and updated state and local sales tax tables. For a complete list of affected individual tax forms and business tax forms visit

You may experience some delays in the receipt of the acceptance/rejection notifications for your tax returns and the direct deposit of your tax refund: (more…)

New Electronic Filing Requirements for 2011

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

E-filing is an accurate, extremely efficient method for all taxpayers to file their tax returns.  Additionally, tax refunds (if you are to receive one) are generally available in your bank account 7-12 days earlier compared to “paper filing.”  As stated in the article below ” IRS e-file benefits taxpayers and tax return preparers. For the tax return preparer, it can mean a more efficient, productive business and fewer errors on the tax return. It is safe and secure. For taxpayers, it can mean faster refunds, the ability to file now and pay later and peace of mind that comes with a receipt acknowledgement.” 

If you are already an e-filer your tax return preparer is probably an Electronic Return Originator (ERO).  Depending on the software that he/she uses, the software will perform a diagnostic check (test) of your return before it is submitted to the E-file Provider (ERP).  This is an important step in determining if there are any errors or issues with your tax return.  If there are, they can be corrected immediately prior to submission.  Once a return is submitted to the IRS it can not be retrieved.  An amended tax return is generally the only option that is available to you.  After your tax return is submitted to the ERP additional diagnostic tests are performed.  If there are errors the tax return is sent back to the ERO.  If not, it is transmitted to the “taxing authority” (the IRS).  At the time of receipt the taxing authority performs additional tests to determine if there are errors, omissions, etc.  If there are issues, the return is sent back to the ERO for correction and re-submission. If correct, the return is immediately processed by the IRS.

In 2011 EROs who file 100 or more tax returns will be required to e-file for their clients.  In 2012 that threshhold drops to 11 tax returns. 

An additional point should be emphasized.  The IRS has taken a leadership role in capitalizing upon the myriad of benefits that are available by leveraging the advantages of information technology.  In most cases the IRS  already has the information regarding your income and most of your tax deductions before you file your tax return.   Therefore, accuracy and completeness are of paramount importance in the preparation and submission of your tax return.  Additional comments from the IRS follow:  (more…)