When it happens that your total tax liability is less than the taxes you already paid, you are eligible to get a tax refund. The IRS usually issue refunds in less than 21 calendar days. However, som e returns may require additional review and therefore will take longer to process for possible refunds. If yours is one of these, you may want to check its status with the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? online tool.
You can use Where’s My Refund? to start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after sending your e-filed return, or within 4 weeks after you’ve mailed a paper return. The Where’s My Refund? tool has a tracker that displays progress through three stages: ‘Return Received,’ ‘Refund Approved’ and ‘Refund Sent.’ When you access it, you will get personalized refund information based on the processing of your tax return. The tool will provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Where’s My Refund? also has a version for mobile smart devices called the ‘IRS2Go’ mobile app. Both can be accessed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can receive your federal individual income tax refund either by paper check sent to the address listed on your return, by purchase of U.S. Series I Savings Bonds up to $5,000, or by direct deposit into your checking or savings account, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA). Beginning this year, you can also choose to direct deposit part or all of your refund into a myRA account, which is a new retirement account from the United States Treasury.
According to the IRS, eight of 10 taxpayers choose to get their tax refund by direct deposit. It’s the safest, fastest way to receive your refund and is also easy to use. Just select it as your refund method through your tax software and type in the account number and routing number. Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check.
By accomplishing Form 8888 (Allocation of Refund) and attaching it to your income tax return, you can moreover additionally opt for the splitting of your refund into as many as three separate accounts. You can for example tell the IRS to directly deposit into a checking, a savings, and a retirement account. However, to be able to receive your refund by direct deposit, whether into one account or more, the total refund amount must be $1.00 or more. Also, your refund can only be directly deposited into accounts that are in your own name, your spouse’s name, or both if it’s a joint account.