IRS Tax Refund Myths
IRS Tax Refund Myths Debunked

If you’re receiving a tax refund after filing this year, we understand how eager you must be for details about when it will arrive. Unfortunately, there’s no hidden hack to get special access to this information nor any way to get your refund sooner than the expected issue date given by the IRS. Despite the reality, there’s a ton of misinformation out there from individuals who claim to have “cracked” the non-existent “code” and following their “advice” could ultimately end up costing you in some cases.

When it comes to anything having to do with your tax return or refund, the best person to consult is your ALG tax professional. We know how the IRS really operates and will give you correct answers so you can make the most informed decisions possible. Let’s take a look at some common tax refund myths and why they’re totally wrong.

Regardless of whether or not you received a refund this year, you should absolutely talk to your employer about adjusting tax withholding as soon as possible. Doing so can help to ensure that neither too much nor too little tax is withheld from your paycheck which in turn can help you to avoid owing or receiving a smaller refund or none at all next year.

Ordering a tax transcript is not a“secret” way to figure out when you’ll receive your refund.

The best and easiest way to check your refund status is by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website or IRS2Go mobile app. The information displayed there is updated daily, usually overnight.

When using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to see when you can expect your refund to be deposited, keep in mind that the issue date given it is only an estimation. Contacting the IRS or a tax professional will not get you a sooner or more accurate issue date.

If you filed your taxes electronically and opt for direct deposit, you will generally receive your refund faster than those who mailed a paper return and receive a paper refund check.

When the “Where’s My Refund?” tool shows your tax return status as “received”, it means that the IRS has your return and is processing it. Once they’re finished doing that, only then will an expected issue date will appear. Keep in mind that some returns might take longer to process than others and some might require further review if they:

  • Have errors
  • Are incomplete
  • Are affected by identity theft or fraud
  • Include Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation)which could take up to 14 weeks to process

If the IRS needs more information to process your return, they’ll contact you by mail.

There are several reasons that can cause your tax return to be smaller than expected, and they generally aren’t the fault of the IRS. Here are some things that can decrease your refund:

  • Mathematical errors or mistakes on the part of your tax preparer or yourself
  • Owing federal or state taxes, child support, student loans or other federal non-tax obligations
  • The IRS is holding part of your refund while they review an item claimed return item
Special Considerations Due to COVID-19

Just as we’ve all had to make adjustments in light of the “new normal” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, so did the IRS. In order to conform with federal health guidelines, they’re operating with limited staff and as such are experiencing delays in processing for paper tax returns. This means that your refund might take a little longer than expected as well. You shouldn’t file the same return again nor contact the IRS directly.

If you have any questions regarding your tax refund or return, don’t hesitate to give the tax professionals at ALG a call at (855)-648-2943. We’re always here to help you with anything you need - all year round.