IRS Dispels Five Myths About Tax Refunds

As we approach the tax deadline, taxpayers are anxious to receive their tax refunds. Rumors about refunds often circulate online. The IRS dispelled five of these myths about tax refunds. We’ve summarized these myths below. But, you can read the full article here.

Myth 1: Calling the IRS or a tax professional will provide a better refund date

The best way to check the status of a tax refund is online through the “Where’s My Refund?” tool at or via the IRS2Go mobile app. Those without internet access may call the automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954. The IRS representatives and the app/online tools share the same database.

Myth 2: Ordering a tax transcript is a ‘secret way’ to get a refund date

“Ordering a tax transcript will not help taxpayers find out when they will get their tax refund… ‘Where’s My Refund?’ shows the processing of the tax return from receipt to completion. It will tell the taxpayer their tax return has been received and if the refund has been approved or sent.”

Myth 3: ‘Where’s My Refund?’ must be wrong because there’s no deposit date yet

“Where’s My Refund” and the IRS2GO mobile app are updated once a day.

While most refunds are issued in less than 21 days, a refund may take longer for a  “variety of reasons including when a return is incomplete or needs further review.” The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if additional information is required to process their tax return. Financial institution processing times may also be a factor in a refund delay.

Myth 4: ‘Where’s My Refund?’ must be wrong because a refund amount Is less than expected

Several factors may cause a tax refund to be larger or smaller than expected. “Situations that could decrease a refund include:

  • “math errors or mistakes;
  • delinquent federal taxes;
  • state taxes, child support, student loans or other delinquent federal nontax obligation;
  • and IRS holds a portion of the refund while it reviews an item claimed on the return.”

The IRS will send the taxpayer a letter of explanation if any adjustments are made.

Myth 5: Getting a refund this year means there’s no need to adjust withholding for 2019

Annual tax planning is good practice for everyone. This can help avoid unexpected outcomes. This may look like adjusting tax withholdings with an employer or increasing estimated tax payments.

The IRS encourages people to do a “Paycheck Checkup” and check their withholdings every year. The IRS Withholding Calculator can assist in determining if the right amount is being withheld. If an update is necessary, taxpayers should submit an updated W-4 to their employer as soon as possible.

Still need to file your 2018 taxes? Call us today to schedule your free consultation. We can help you file an extension and ensure that you are minimizing your liability and maximizing your tax refund. Call (480) 888-7111 to get started!