After an increased number of questions from taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has addressed numerous rumors circulating about tax refunds. The IRS reminds taxpayers there is not a secret way to discover when refunds will be issued and to essentially be patient with refund processing. According to the IRS, interest on individual 2019 tax refunds reflected on returns filed by July 15, 2020 will be paid from Apr. 15, 2020 until the date of the refund. Doeren Mayhew’s CPAs and tax advisors further explore the false information spreading about the refunds, including:

  • Receiving a refund this year means taxpayers do not need to adjust 2020 withholding amounts: Adjusting your tax withholding with your employer is a proactive way to ensure the correct tax amount is being withheld from your paycheck. If you need help confirming the optimal amount, leverage the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator.
  • Contacting the IRS or your tax advisor will allow for a quicker refund date: IRS employees and tax professionals are unable to move up the date of your refund and do not have hidden information to further indicate when you’ll receive your refund.
  • Requesting a tax transcript is a shortcut to find out your refund date: Ordering tax transcripts will not move up your refund date or reveal when it is.
  • “The Where’s My Refund?” feature isn’t accurate since it doesn’t show a deposit date yet: When the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” feature shows the status of your tax return as “received”, it means your return has been received and the IRS is in the process of working on it. To get the same information from “Where’s My Refund?” over the phone, you can call the IRS’s automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954.

Depending on the circumstances arising from each return, some may take longer to process and require further review. If your return relates to any of the following, your refund may be delayed:

  • Contains errors
  • Was sent in incomplete
  • Is involved in identity theft or fraud
  • Includes Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation)

In addition, your tax refund amount could be decreased if it contains mathematical errors and if you owe federal or state taxes, student loans, child support or other non-tax federal obligations. If your refund was reduced to offset a financial obligation, the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service will reach out via letter to let you know. There is no reason to call the IRS to inquire about your refund unless the “Where’s My Refund?” feature explicitly says to do so.

If you have questions about your filed tax returns, contact Doeren Mayhew’s dedicated team of CPAs and tax advisors today.