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Sunday March 3, 2024

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Many Taxpayers Benefit From "Where's My Refund?"

The latest Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Time Guide highlights the popular use by taxpayers of the "Where’s My Refund?" tool. Tax-filing is in high gear and the IRS issues millions of tax refunds each week. Taxpayers are flocking to the IRS website to use the "Where’s My Refund?" tool.

This tool has three main sections. First, a taxpayer can confirm that his or her return has been received. The second stage is for the IRS to approve the return. The third step is for a tax refund to be issued, if applicable.

Millions of taxpayers anticipate receiving a refund. With the additional funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS has provided several enhancements to the "Where’s My Refund?" tool. The updated version now will explain the refund status in plain language. It is also available on smartphones with the IRS2Go app. In some cases, the tool will indicate if a taxpayer should contact the IRS to provide additional information.

To use the "Where’s My Refund?" tool, the first step is to enter a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number, filing status and the exact dollar amount of the expected refund. The refund status is normally available within one day after e-filing a tax return or within four weeks after mailing in a paper return. The IRS updates the "Where’s My Refund?" tool each night.

There are several factors that may delay a refund. If a tax return has errors or requires additional review or forms, it may be delayed. Some taxpayers are delayed because they have not correctly calculated the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

The IRS is available to assist with questions on refunds if a return has been filed electronically and 21 days have passed. If the return was mailed, the IRS will respond to inquiries after six weeks.

The IRS reminds taxpayers there is extensive information available on IRS.gov. Assistance can be found for the following scenarios: selecting a qualified tax preparer, using the IRS Free File to complete a return or using the Interactive Tax Assistant to answer questions. An excellent source for filing information include IRS videos that may be found online.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically. Most electronic filers will receive a refund within 21 days. Income tax returns for this filing season are due by Monday, April 15, 2024.

Published March 1, 2024

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