Demystifying Your IRS Tax Refund: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hey there tax-savvy readers! We get it, waiting for that IRS tax refund can be a real nail-biter. You work hard for your money, and you’re eager to see it back in your pocket. But worry not! We’re here to walk you through the process of tracking your IRS tax refund, and we’ve got some insider tips to ease your mind.

Your IRS Tax Refund

Getting Started: Tracking Your IRS Tax Refund

Let’s kick things off by demystifying the process. Whether you filed online or went old school with snail mail, the IRS has a nifty online tool to track your refund status. All you need to do is provide your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact refund amount. With this intel, you’ll get the lowdown on where your hard-earned cash is in the refund pipeline.

The Waiting Game: How Long Will It Take?

Now, onto the million-dollar question – or should we say, the tax refund question. The time it takes to get your IRS tax refund isn’t set in stone. If you filed electronically and chose direct deposit, you’re looking at roughly 21 days. But if you opted for the good ol’ paper return, you might need a bit more patience, around 6 to 8 weeks.

Remember, these are ballpark figures. Various factors can affect the processing time. Common culprits include errors in your tax return and claiming specific tax credits. No worries, though. We’ll guide you through these scenarios and help you find solutions.

Your Toolkit for Tracking Your IRS Tax Refund

Now, let’s talk about how you can keep tabs on that refund status. The IRS offers a few convenient options to keep you in the loop.

Option 1: “Where’s My Refund?” Tool on the IRS Website

This tool is the MVP of tax refund tracking. It’s user-friendly and provides stage-by-stage updates – from Return Received to Refund Sent. Just plug in your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact refund amount. You’ll get the latest scoop on your payment status, 24/7.

Option 2: IRS2Go Mobile App

If you’re a mobile maven, the IRS2Go app has your back. It’s available for both iOS and Android and packs all the power of the online tool into a pocket-sized format. Download the app, enter your info, and voila! You’ve got instant access to your tax refund status, plus bonus features like tax tips and articles to keep you in the know.

Option 3: Give ‘Em a Ring

If you’re a fan of the old-school approach, you can call the IRS directly. They’ve got the “Where’s My Refund? Hotline” at 1-800-829-1954. Follow the prompts, and you’ll get the intel you need. Keep in mind, wait times might vary, especially during tax season’s busy periods.

Navigating Common Roadblocks: What to Watch Out For

As you trek along on your tax refund journey, you might encounter a few hurdles that could slow down the process. It’s all part of the game, but knowing how to handle them is key.

Issue 1: Errors in Your Tax Return

This one’s a classic. Small mistakes or missing info on your tax return can put the brakes on your refund. To sidestep this, double-check your return for accuracy before sending it off. And if you do spot an error post-filing, don’t sweat it. The IRS has Form 1040X for making corrections. It’s your ticket to a smoother refund process.

Issue 2: Claiming Specific Tax Credits

Certain credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), can slow down your refund. They get extra scrutiny due to the potential for fraud. If you’re eligible for these credits, that’s great! But filing early is a smart move to dodge potential delays.

When in Doubt, Reach Out

Got questions about your tax refund or need some help with an issue? Reach out to the IRS directly. They’ve got your back, whether by phone or mail. And for complex situations, or if you’re feeling a bit lost, consider getting advice from a tax pro or enrolled agent. They’re the experts in navigating the IRS maze.

State Tax Refund Tracking

If you’re expecting a state tax refund, many states have tools similar to the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” tool. Check your state’s official tax website for more info.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers

Prefer face-to-face help? The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) in various locations. They’re there to assist with all things tax-related, including refund inquiries. Check the IRS site to find the closest TAC and schedule an appointment if needed.

Wrapping it Up: Your Guide to a Seamless Tax Refund Process

Tracking your IRS tax refund doesn’t have to be a headache. With the tools and resources from the IRS, you’ll stay in the loop and tackle any hurdles that come your way. Remember, accuracy is key, and prompt action on any errors or delays will keep things moving. Armed with the knowledge from this guide, you’ll unlock the secrets to tracking your IRS tax refund and take charge of your financial future.

How to Sort Out Tax Refund Hiccups

When it comes to getting your tax refund, a few common issues can cause delays. One biggie is errors or discrepancies in your tax return. Make sure to double-check all your info before you hit send. Also, some credits may need extra documentation, which can slow things down. Have all your supporting docs ready to go.

If you owe back taxes or have other debts, the IRS might use your refund to pay them off. This could mean a delay or even no refund at all until everything’s settled. If you suspect this might be the case, get in touch with the IRS and address the issue ASAP.

More Resources for Tracking Your IRS Tax Refund

If you hit a roadblock with your tax refund, there are steps you can take to sort things out. First and foremost, talk to the IRS. They’ve got a bunch of resources to help you navigate the refund process and answer any questions you have.

In some cases, you might get a letter from the IRS asking for more info or clarification. It’s crucial to respond quickly and provide what they need. Failing to do so could lead to more delays or even a refund denial. If you’re unsure about how to handle the IRS letter, consider getting advice from a tax expert or enrolled agent who’s a pro at dealing with the IRS.

In Conclusion: Making Sure Your Tax Refund Rolls In Smoothly

While the IRS has a handy online tool for tracking your tax refund, there are other resources that can give you extra help and info. One such resource is the IRS2Go mobile app. It’s a convenient way to keep tabs on your refund status, make payments, and access other useful tax tools, all from your smartphone.

Another valuable resource is the “Where’s My Refund?” hotline. A quick call to 1-800-829-1954 will get you real-time updates on your refund status. Just be sure to have your social security number, filing status, and refund

amount handy.

Lastly, think about using a trusted tax pro or tax software. These folks and programs not only help you file your return accurately but also assist with tracking your refund. They know the ins and outs of the IRS refund process and will make sure you get your money as fast as possible.

Some Tips On Doing Your Own Taxes

Doing Your Own Taxes may appear daunting, in a lot of cases however it is really not that difficult. In order to be successful with it though, you will need an accurate record of your expenses and incomes, and will also need to become familiar with the available tax codes. If you have questions for a tax professional on this topic just ask your question

Doing Your Own Taxes Instructions

You should generally stay organize and keep a record of your incomes and expenses throughout the entire year. You will need a dedicated binder or file system to keep your tax related files/documents together.

You should know the type of deductions you can make from your total income. You will need to itemize your deductions or take a standard deduction. Using some calculations or a tax software can help you to determine which is better for you. If your medical costs are low, and you are not paying a lot of mortgage interests or taxes on real estate, it may be better for you to take a standard deduction with your filings.

You will also need to become familiar with the tax forms. A lot of households will generally file the Form 1040. You can provide the details of your incomes online or may fill them in on the W-2s tax forms. If you had earned over $400 in self-employed incomes through freelancing etc, you will need to fill the Schedule C and SE forms and will need to deduct any business related expense against your self-employed income.

You should make use of some tax file and software online for accuracy and simplicity. You can make use of free software like TaxAct, TurboTax etc. Some banks (USAA etc) may provide some eFile services for free too.

You may key in your deductions, income, personal information and tax credits into a tax software/application or you can fill them in on some paper tax forms. You will need to include your W2 forms with your paper forms, or you can fill in your information when you are filing or generally doing your own taxes.

You can file your tax returns and then provide your bank details for direct withdrawal/deposit or could mail in your check. When you file your tax on the web, you should get an email acknowledgement, returns that you mailed will generally not get an acknowledgement however. If you get a refund or your payment is withdrawn from your specified bank account, you will then know that you have done what you should do right.

Doing Your Own Taxes photo
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Tips And Warnings

For taxes that are complicated and other issues you should contact an accountant.

You should also avoid getting any red flags with your tax filings (some tax software can alert you on this), in order to reduce the likelihood of your refund being audited by the IRS.

What Not To Do On Your Taxes According to Experts

Being careful is import when completing your taxes and this year should make you a little bit nervous if you are preparing your taxes yourself. Even professionals are making a lot of mistakes according to the Government Accountability Office.

In a study done in 2014, 10% of preparers did not calculate a normal tax return correctly. The final error rates for tax preparation according to the study was 50% for self-prepared returns and 60% for professionally prepared returns. Of course, the professionals more than likely handle the tough returns. Still, those are alarming numbers.

Some errors are obvious mistakes while others are harder to deduct, keep these difficult areas in mind this tax season: foreign investments, charitable giving, real estate taxes, gambling winnings, and state refunds.

What Not To Do On Your Taxes

If you have foreign investment accounts or savings accounts, make sure to report them to the IRS. If the IRS is able to discover the account later, you can face a penalty up to $10,000.

When making contributions to charity, keep a record so you can prove that you gave to a qualified charity. And when purchasing an item for a charity event, you can only deduct the portion above the value you are receiving.

Real Estate taxes can be a trick if you just purchased the home as some are paid on the closing statement. And an office in the home is a great deduction, but make sure not to claim more space than the office occupies.

If you have gambling winnings during the year, offset those winnings with loses you experienced and documented. You can’t take a lose of gambling, but limiting the amount of your winnings that is taxable is really nice.

Finally state refunds. State refunds on tax return filings are taxable the next year as income on the federal return. Yet federal tax refunds are not taxable, you get to keep the full amount of those funds.

File Early With Free TurboTax Online

It definitely pays to file your taxes early, and according to the IRS about 14 million tax returns had been filed by the end of January, with just over 90 percent of thee filed electronically. These six reasons may help to convince you it’s a good idea to file early using free TurboTax online:

The average refund last year was about $2,800 and almost 75 percent of tax filers received a refund and of course a tax refund can be used for whatever you need it for.

Filing taxes with TurboTax early means that the IRS can send your information to FAFSA in plenty of time and this means that you can potentially receive financial aid for college, depending on your income.

Free TurboTax photo
Photo by mighty.travels

Free TurboTax online is accurate and quick to use, and of course it is guaranteed to give you the most refund and to save you money. Standing in line at your local tax preparation office is a thing of the past with TurboTax and the system’s simple to answer questions will allow the program to search through over 350 credits and tax deductions.

If you file electronically with direct deposit, the IRS expects to issue 90 percent of tax refunds within 21 days, meaning that you can get that much needed tax refund as quickly as possible. You can save up to a couple of months of interest just by paying off debts such as credit cards sooner rather than later.

Many tax procrastinators make simple mistakes on their ta return such as putting down the wrong social security number or not signing their tax return. It is also very easy to rush through your ta return if you are trying to do it at the last possible minute, and filing your tax return ahead of time can avoid these errors and make sure that you take the time to do everything thoroughly and accurately.

TurboTax really can save you time and money and get you the biggest possible tax return as quickly as possible. Using free TurboTax online allows you to have more of your money to spend and to file your return completely and accurately.

Taxes 2014: What You Should Know To File

The tax filing season starts at the end of Jan. The IRS said that people can start filing their taxes 2014 returns on January 20.

Despite a last minute tax law that was passed by Congress, the tax-filing season will still start on schedule, according to the IRS.

Congress passed a bill that extended more than 50 tax breaks, which were due to expire next year. Under the new law, the breaks will not expire anytime soon, which allows taxpayers to claim them when they go and file their taxes. The law was signed by the president on December 19.

Taxes 2014 photo
Photo by mleinet Taxes 2014

In the past, when tax laws were passed at the last minute, the filing season was delayed. However, that is not the case this time around, according to the IRS Commissioner.

The Commissioner said that the agency has reviewed all of the changes and they feel as if there is nothing that can prevent them from updating their systems and testing it out.

Many returns are filed during the first few weeks of the season, and this is mainly due to the fact that taxpayers want their refunds as soon as possible.

The IRS said that most refunds were issued within 21 days, if those returns were electronically filed. In the past, the agency said that filing taxes this way is the quickest way to receive a refund.

Refunds average around $2,800, and taxpayers should use TurboTax to file their tax returns, as they are a reputable service that has helped many taxpayers.

Tax Filing Tips For Taxes From

As the deadline for filing 2013 taxes approaches, beginners are faced with a much bigger challenge. Many of them do not know that there are fines and penalties for missing the deadline. That is because they have never filed tax returns in the past. Mistakes are more likely going to be made, but proper preparation can help to minimize errors. For instance, putting all your financial records for the previous tax year in one place may help.

When filing for the first time, it is important that you consider getting help from a tax preparer. Alternatively, you can use a tax filing service like to do your own taxes without help. The service can help you with both state and federal tax filing. can make the process of filing 2013 taxes a pleasant experience for you. By simply answering a series of simple questions about your finances, will enable you to claim all the tax deductions, credits and benefits for which you qualify, thereby helping you to increase your tax refund or reduce the amount of tax you are supposed to pay. While experience can teach you everything you need to know about taxes, can be very helpful to first time tax filers.

Kara DeFrias
Kara DeFrias (Photo credit: TEDxCoMo (Columbia, MO))

During childhood, the word taxes may have meant very little to you. However, taxes may be the most important word in your adult life. To learn more about tax credits, deductions, filing deadlines and other important tax-related information, you may want to visit The site has everything you need to file your taxes correctly.

%d bloggers like this: