Friday, March 1, 2013

How Quickly Will You Receive Your Tax Refund?

Tax refunds have been very slow in coming this year primarily due to delays caused by the fiscal cliff negotiations at the end of 2012.  The negotiations caused the IRS to delay its ability to accept and process tax returns, as well as slowed the refund process—something many filers are experiencing first hand.  In fact, the IRS refund tracker website has been so overwhelmed by filers checking on the status of their refunds that the IRS actually issued a statement asking people to stop checking the site so frequently.

If sequestration goes into effect today, March 1, tax refunds will likely slow even more.  The IRS has said that its employees will be required to take between five and seven furlough days this year; however, the furloughs will be postponed until after tax season has been completed.  While the postponement will help alleviate the sluggish return process, filers would be better served if they filed before the staffing cuts are implemented.  The IRS also strongly recommends that filers utilize e-filing to help reduce the workload and ensure a faster return. 

If you can get through to the website, you can check the status of your refund by going to http://www.irs.gov/Refunds/Where's-My-Refund-It's-Quick,-Easy,-and-Secure.  You will need to have your social security number, your filing status and the exact amount of your refund to utilize the site.  If you used e-filing, you can check the status within 24 hours of the IRS receiving your return.  If you sent a paper return, you will have to wait four weeks before you can check the status of your refund.  This is another great reason for e-filing this year!

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