What to Do if Your Tax Refund Is Taking Longer Than Expected

How Long Will It Take?
If you filed your taxes electronically and opted for direct deposit, you usually get your refund within 21 days if everything’s okay. But if you chose to get a paper check or filed on paper, it could take longer – up to a month or more.

Sometimes, things like errors on your return or claiming certain credits can slow things down because the IRS has to check them manually.

How to Check Your Refund
You can use the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” tool to see what’s happening with your refund. Just enter some info from your tax return, and it’ll tell you if your return has been received, approved, or sent. But if you filed on paper, you might have to wait up to four weeks before you can check.

Why Is It Delayed?
There are a few reasons why your refund might be late. Sometimes, it’s just a timing thing, and you’ll get your money eventually. But other times, the IRS might need more info from you before they can finish processing your return.

For example, if there are errors on your return or if the income you reported doesn’t match what the IRS has on file, they’ll need to sort it out before they can send your refund.

What Can Cause Delays?
There are a bunch of things that could slow down your refund:

  1. Mistakes on your return, like math errors or forgetting to sign it.
  2. Your reported income doesn’t match what the IRS has.
  3. Your bank account info for direct deposit doesn’t match your filing status.
  4. The IRS thinks there might be fraud.
  5. You claimed dependents without coordinating with their parents.
  6. You need to file an old return.
  7. You sent in a paper return, which always takes longer.

If you think there might be a problem with your refund, it’s a good idea to check with the IRS. And remember, they’ll never call you about issues with your return – they’ll always send a letter instead.

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