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IRS Statement on “Where’s My Refund?” Tool
Feb. 14, 2013
The IRS alerted taxpayers and the tax community it is experiencing high traffic on Where’s My Refund as more tax returns come in. The heavy volume of refund inquiries means that the IRS anticipates both “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov and the refund feature on the IRS2go phone app will have limited availability during busier periods.
Due to the large number of inquiries and to avoid service disruptions, the IRS strongly urges taxpayers to only check on their refunds once a day. IRS systems are only updated once a day, usually overnight, and the same information is available whether on the internet, IRS2go smartphone app or on IRS toll-free lines. While “Where’s My Refund” is updated nightly, your account will not change that frequently.
The IRS is seeing a good start to the filing season, and tax refunds are being issued timely. Nine out of 10 taxpayers typically receive refunds in less than 21 days when they use e-file with direct deposit.
The IRS expects to see the number of tax returns — and related refund inquiries —steadily increase around the President’s Day holiday week.
Here are some tips to help taxpayers with their refund questions:
- Have the right tax information ready before using any of the IRS refund tools. This includes Social Security number, filing status and refund amount.
- You don’t need to check Where’s My Refund more than once a day as your information will not change.
- To avoid system delays, the best time to check on refunds is evening and weekends.
- There is no need to call the IRS about your refund; the telephone service has the same information that is available on Where’s My Refund.
If you haven’t tried IRS e-file before, now is the time. Most taxpayers – more than 80 percent – file electronically. The IRS has processed more than 1 billion individual tax returns safely and securely since the nationwide debut of electronic filing in 1990. Fewer people file a paper tax return every year. Here are five good reasons to e-file your tax return:
- Accurate and complete. E-file is the best way to file an accurate and complete tax return. Tax returns that are incomplete or include errors take longer to process.
- Safe and secure. Tax preparers and software companies who e-file must meet strict guidelines and provide the best in encryption technology. You receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours that the IRS received your tax return. If the IRS does not accept your tax return, you will receive notification and can quickly correct your return and resubmit it.
- Faster refunds. An e-filed tax return usually means a faster refund compared to a paper return. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days. If you choose direct deposit, your refund goes directly into your bank account. Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund. About three out of four taxpayers who file receive a tax refund. Last year the average refund was about $2,700.
- Payment options. If you owe tax, you can e-file early and set an automatic payment date anytime on or before the April 15 due date. You can pay by check or money order, by debit or credit card, or by transferring funds electronically from your bank account.
- It’s easy. You can e-file on your own through IRS Free File, the free tax preparation and e-filing service available exclusively at IRS.gov. You can also use commercial tax preparation software or ask your tax preparer to e-file your return. And, if you qualify, IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly partners will e-file your return for free.
For more information about IRS e-file, visit IRS.gov.
Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:
- Do Your Taxes for Free: Taxes Made Less Taxing - English
- Do It Yourself Free Tax Preparation - English
- Do It Yourself Free Tax Preparation - English
IRS Tax Tips:
The EITC provides a financial boost for millions of working taxpayers
1 out of 5 eligible taxpayers overlooks the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Are you one of them?
Workers, self-employed people and farmers who earned $50,270 or less last year could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. That could mean up to $475 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $5,891 for those with three or more qualifying children.
The EITC varies by income, family size and filing status. The average EITC amount last year was around $2,200. People can see if they qualify by visiting IRS.gov and answering a few questions using the EITC Assistant. In tax year 2011, over 27 million eligible workers and families received nearly $62 billion total in EITC.
How to Claim the EITC
To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Those eligible for the EITC have free options to file a tax return to claim the credit:
• Free File on IRS.gov Free brand-name tax software walks people through a question and answer format to help them prepare their returns and claim every credit and deduction for which they are eligible. The program also allows people to file electronically for free, using Free File Fillable Forms, which are online versions of our paper forms designed for taxpayers comfortable preparing their own returns.
• Free tax preparation sites EITC-eligible workers can seek free tax preparation at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites. To locate the nearest site, taxpayers can search www.IRS.gov or call the IRS at 800-906-9887. Taxpayers can also find VITA/TCE sites by calling their community’s 211 or 311 line for local services.
• IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers EITC-eligible workers can seek free assistance in IRS locations across the country. Locations are listed online at www.IRS.gov. Hours and services offered vary by location and should be checked before visiting.
IRS partners should also visit EITC Central at www.eitc.irs.gov for helpful resources.