How to Get Your IRS Tax Refund Status

The only way to find out your IRS Tax Refund Status is to visit the IRS website or call the Refund Hotline.  If you go by any other method you will receive false or misleading information or worse yet, you’ll get scammed.  Here’s how to get the status of your IRS refund, officially and quickly.

How to Check Your IRS Tax Refund Status

  1. Go to IRS.gov
  2. Click on the picture at the top of the page- it’s called Get Your Refund Status.
  3. That takes you to the “Refunds” page.  You are still on the IRS website.
  4. You’ll see lots of writing- don’t worry you can handle it.  It’s written in plain English, not IRS language.
  5. By the way there is lots of useful information on that page, perhaps worth five minutes of your time.
  6. Towards the middle of the page you’ll see three steps: this is where you want to focus your efforts.
  7. Step One: tells you when to check: you won’t find anything about your IRS Tax Refund Status until after the IRS has received your tax return…and only if you e-filed.  If you sent a paper tax return you’ll be waiting a month before you can check your IRS Tax Refund Status.
  8. Step Two: tells you what you’re going to need in order to check your refund status.  You’ll need your Social Security Number, your refund amount (from your actual tax return, which only you should have) and your filing status, which is either single, married, married filing jointly or head of household.  Again, only you would really know the answer to this.  They ask you these questions for security purposes so nobody can steal your IRS refund.
  9. Step Three:  this is what we’ve been waiting for!  It says “Get your refund status at…”Where’s my Refund?”.  You click on the hyperlinked words “refund status”.
  10. You are then redirected here, which is a secure area of the IRS.gov website, where you enter that personal information you learned about in Step Two (see above).
  11. Click submit and now you have your IRS Tax Refund Status.  Don’t do it any other way or you will definitely be wasting your time.

IRS Offers a Way to Check the Status of Your Refund

If you are like millions of other Americans, you file your federal income taxes as soon as possible so you can get your Refund faster.   And nothing has changed here: anyone expecting an IRS refund is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the check in the mail…or the direct deposit if you requested that method of delivery.  Where’s my Refund? is the most commonly asked question beginning early February and right on through April and afterwards as well.

How to Check the Status of a Refund

There is one and only one way to check your IRS Status of Refund, and that’s on the IRS website.  If you don’t have a computer then you can call the IRS Refund Hotline.  This hotline will not give you additional information on the status of your refund, however.  It’s really a check on the progress of your tax return as the IRS puts it through its processing system.  You can find out if your tax return got flagged for deeper examination or if it’s making its way quickly through the pipes with no snags or delays.

The IRS calls its automated IRS Status of Refund checker the IRS Refund Tracker.  It’s available here on the IRS website.  Please don’t go anywhere else to check the status of your refund.  Any website posing as the IRS website and pretending to offer a refund status checker is out to get something from you.  The IRS Refund tracker is free and you get immediate results.

Furthermore, any website offering an IRS Refund Cycle Chart is also pulling your leg.  The IRS doesn’t publish these anymore because they are outdated.  Due to new security checks, the turnaround time for IRS refunds varies wildly among taxpayers.  You simply can’t chart this process anymore because each case has its own personal pathway through the IRS tax return processing system.

So remember:

  1. use the IRS Refund Tracker
  2. accept no substitutes for the IRS website or you’ll get scammed
  3. there is no such thing anymore as an IRS Refund Cycle Chart
  4. turnaround times vary, so don’t panic if yours takes a little longer than your neighbor’s

How to Find Out Where Your Refund is for 2014

If you’re asking Where is my refund? for 2014 then you haven’t heard about the IRS Refund Tracker yet, have you?  For 2013 taxes, which you’ll be filing in 2014, all tax filers should use the IRS’s new tool called the IRS Refund Tracker.  It’s a page on the IRS website on which you make a login and then request information on your IRS refund.  The system will give you up to date information every 24 hours on the whereabouts of your tax return in the processing lineup, so you can see approximately when your refund will get to you.

Changes in the Where is My Refund? Page for 2014

The IRS used to publish IRS Refund Cycle Charts but no more.  Turnaround times vary more now, which means a chart is no longer useful for taxpayers who want to know where their refund might be. More tax returns get extra scrutinizing nowadays because the IRS isn’t simply checking to see if your W2 matches your tax return…they’re now checking to make sure the return isn’t a fraudulent one.

Identity theft is rampant with federal income tax returns.  All a thief has to do is get ahold of your Social Security number and a few other bits of personal information about you and they are able to file a fraudulent tax return on your behalf.  While it sounds good to have someone do your taxes for you, it’s actually very bad because you won’t be seeing your IRS refund.  Ever!  That’s because the whole point of income tax fraud and identity theft is to have that IRS refund sent to the thief’s bank account rather than the actual taxpayer.

Therefore, the IRS has revamped everything in the way they check tax returns now.  They’re looking for clues about the validity of your return, so at any given point in the “assembly line” of tax return preparation, your return can be pulled aside and examined more closely.  This makes the idea of asking Where is My Refund? in the year 2014 a whole new ballgame.

Wondering Where is My Refund? Use the IRS Refund Tracker

Visit the IRS website and type Where is My Refund? 2014 into their search box.  You’ll get the Where is My Refund? page, from which you can launch the IRS Refund Tracker.  Type in your Social Security number and answer the questions and you’ll get personalized information about your IRS refund in just minutes.  Just make sure you’re really on the IRS website for this, since typing your personal information into a fake IRS website will result in even more identity theft!

Why an IRS Refund Schedule for 2014 Doesn’t Exist

It’s January- that means tax season is at hand once again.  Tax filing companies are rolling out the ads to entice you to sign up with them to file your tax returns.  What do they promise?  Bigger IRS refunds and faster turnaround time on the refunds.  Now’s the time when you’ll start seeing “IRS Refund Schedule 2014″ published by tax prep companies…submit your taxes by a certain date and get your refund a week later.

What is an IRS Refund Schedule?

In 2014, we no longer have one, but here’s what it used to be.  The IRS would publish a Refund Cycle Chart showing dates by which you could expect to have your IRS refund.  Taxpayers who had filed income taxes with the IRS would use that year’s IRS Refund Schedule to look up their refund dates according to when the IRS had accepted their tax return.

So, for tax year 2013, if a taxpayer e-filed and had an acceptance date of February 1, 2014, they’d look up their date on the IRS Refund Schedule 2014.  Usually the Cycle was a period of one or two weeks.  This created expectation that refunds should and would be available by certain dates.

Well guess what- times have changed!  The IRS no longer published any such thing as a IRS Refund Schedule.   The onset of identity theft has overturned the tax return processing routine and now the IRS has a lot more to look at than your Adjusted Gross Income when it examines your tax return.

Identity Theft is to Blame for the Death of  the IRS Refund Schedule for 2014

Because of identity theft,  there are now so many internal checks your tax return experiences that it’s very difficult to even guess when it will be finished and your IRS refund will be ready.  Every return is different, making the idea of a refund cycle chart completely obsolete for 2014.  The IRS has stopped publishing anything even remotely resembling a Refund Cycle Chart.  They will only say what their track record was…last year’s statistics on tax return turnaround time.  Generally most taxpayers got their refunds within  21 days.  That’s 90% of taxpayers.

So forget about the refund schedule and use the IRS Refund Tracker instead.  It gives more information than the old IRS Refund Schedule anyway.

 

How to Make the Best of the IRS Direct Deposit Schedule in 2014

The IRS Direct Deposit Schedule 2014 is going to depend on when you submitted your tax return and what’s on your return as well.  The days of a regular schedule are long gone… sorry to disappoint you!  Now it depends on your tax return and if there’s anything on the return that may slow down your refund.  What types of things can slow the process enough to delay your refund?  There’s actually quite a long list of red flag alerts, but some more common than others.  Take a look at these and see if any of them can be found on your tax return.  That may explain why you have IRS refund delays for 2014.

Things That Affect the 2014 IRS Direct Deposit Schedule by Red Flagging Your Return

  1. you took a business tax deduction that’s commonly abused
  2. you claimed the home office deduction
  3. you had a typo on your tax return
  4. your name didn’t match the name associated with your social security number…maybe you changed your name but didn’t notify the IRS
  5. your reported income didn’t match what was reported to the IRS
  6. Form 1099 MISC was filed…this is often used in fraudulent tax returns
  7. Filing Schedule E, which is Supplemental Income & Loss
  8. claiming lots of dependents or anything that looks fishy like it might be false dependents
  9. charitable contributions on Schedule A are often abused
  10. another itemized deduction that’s often involved in fraud: medical and dental expenses…the IRS scrutinizes these carefully because they are top method of scamming your deductions and paying less tax
  11. claiming expenses for your business that aren’t actually business expenses

The IRS Direct Deposit Choice is the Faster Way to Get Your Refund

By choosing direct deposit you’ve already done yourself a favor by choosing the faster way to get paid.  If you choose to have the IRS mail you a check for your refund, you’re adding at least a week to the whole schedule.  Do everything you can to avoid delays in the IRS Direct Deposit Schedule 2014 by scanning your return for the red flag alerts above, and choosing Direct Deposit over mailed check.  Good Luck!

 

 

Official Notice: IRS Refund Calendar for 2014 Starts Today!

Well my taxpaying friends, the gates are open!  The IRS has just announced that the start of the 2014 Tax Calendar will begin on January 31, 2014.  That’s the day they will begin accepting e-filed tax returns.  And as you know, once they’ve accepted your tax return the IRS Refund Calendar for 2014 begins its cycle.  You can start tracking the progress of your tax return on the IRS website just 24 hours after your return has been officially accepted by the IRS.  And of course, e-filing is the fastest way to file your federal income tax return.  The moral of this story is: If you want to push through the IRS Refund Calendar of 2014 the fastest way possible, make sure you electronically file your taxes.  Don’t use paper forms.

The IRS Refund Calendar 2014

Please let me set the record straight: if you are looking for a IRS Refund Calendar for 2014, you are barking up the wrong tree.  The idea of a one size fits all refund calendar that you can abide by and use to estimate when you’ll get your refund is obsolete now.  Since each tax return is treated individually, there is only a personalized refund date for you and you alone.  No two returns are anything alike- the list of complications that can now arise because of identity theft checks on every return make the circumstances that surround each tax return very individual and personalized, unique for each return.  Therefore, if you wand 2014 IRS refund information for you, you must ask the IRS for data concerning only your return.  How in the world do you do this?  Easy, it’s called the IRS Refund Tracker.

No more IRS Refund Calendar: Now It’s the Refund Tracker

Go to IRS.gov and find the Where’s my Refund? section.  There, you’ll get a link to the new Refund Tracker where you’ll be asked to enter personal information in order to create a login.  From that info, the IRS database will spew out personalized information on the whereabouts of your IRS refund based on where your tax return can be found on that day in the process.  This is actually far superior to the old IRS Refund Calendar, which gave you a generic guide and did not take into account certain refund delays that can happen along the way.  Check it out, it’s on the IRS website, which ends in “.gov”.  Accept no substitutes!

IRS Refund Delays: Why They Happen

It’s definitely too early for folks to begin about IRS Refund Delays but it’s not too early to begin preparing your taxes.  The earliest you can submit your federal income tax return to the IRS is January 31, 2014 this year.  The start date to tax season is a bit delayed this year again, albeit for different reasons this year.

Reasons for 2014 IRS Refund Delays

Last year there were new tax laws to be written into tax software at the last minute but this year is was the federal government closures.  The closures, which were due to budget problems, meant no work was being done in the IRS offices during the critical Fall period.  Fall is when IRS employees are busily preparing for the upcoming tax season- getting software ready is the main activity.  If the software isn’t up to date then no returns are processed.

Why You Might Personally Experience IRS Refund Delays

Government closures and software updates aside, your refund can still be delayed due to your own set of circumstances.  Now that the IRS has lots of security measures built into the tax return processing software, your refund can get delayed due to any number of things.  This is all due to the increased rate of identity theft surrounding IRS tax returns in the past several years.  Scammers get ahold of your Social Security number and a few other bits of personal data and voila, they have enough to file a fake tax return in your name.  They have your IRS refund sent to themselves instead of the real you of course and they’ve made a nice chunk of change for themselves.

The IRS has put a lot of effort into identifying the tax returns that seem to end up as frauds.  They’ve researched the heck out of identity theft and tax fraud, and come up with a set of parameters that fit the profile of a fake IRS tax return.  If your return happens to exhibit any of the red flag alerts the IRS has installed into the software to try and identify fraudulent tax returns, your tax return will get pulled form the line and looked at more closely.  That means IRS Refund Delays for you.

To find out where your IRS Refund might be after you’ve filed your federal income tax return with the IRS, just use the IRS Refund Tracker located here on the IRS website.  Here you can find out about IRS Refund Delays that affect you personally.

Opening Day for IRS Tax Returns & the Refund Schedule for 2014

Good news, the IRS has released the date on which they will begin accepting 2014 tax returns.  That’s for tax year 2013, by the way.  Starting on January 31, 2014, taxpayers will be able to begin e-filing income tax returns.  That also gives us a clue as to what the IRS Tax Refund Schedule 2014 will look like.

IRS Tax Refund Schedule: 2014 Outlook

The IRS would like to remind everyone that if a fast IRS refund is important to you, then e-file or Free File are the best way to file your federal income tax return.  Your tax return will be processed more quickly, meaning the entire IRS Tax Refund Schedule speeds up for your return…faster processing equals faster refund schedule.

The original opening date for 2014 tax season (tax year 2013 returns) was January 21.  However if you remember the Government closures that occurred in 2013, you’ll understand why the IRS now has a January 31 opening date.

You can still file your tax return ahead of time, with a software company such as TaxAct.  They will store your data until January 31, which is when they will be able to electronically submit your tax return to the IRS.  Same goes for walk-in storefront tax preparation companies like H&R Block.  You can make an appointment right now and they’ll push the e-file through on January 31.

After that, the refund schedule depends on whether or not your tax return gets flagged for scrutiny.  Some tax deductions can set up a red flag and therefore delay processing while the IRS looks into the matter more carefully.

But whatever your own schedule looks like ahead, whenever you get around to preparing your federal tax return, the IRS Tax Refund Schedule for 2014 will be based on your own set of circumstances.  You will need to log into the IRS website to track your refund.  There is no longer a one-size-fits-all Tax Refund Schedule on which you can estimate your refund date.  For the IRS Refund Tracker visit the IRS website and enter your info as they ask you for a personalized look at the progress of your IRS refund.

Find Out Your Own IRS Refund Dates for 2014

Life just gets better and better…at least that’s what the optimists say.  You probably find it hard to believe there’s anything optimistic one could say about the IRS and taxes, but when it comes to 2014 IRS refund dates, there’s good news for everyone.  Why?  Because the IRS is actually improving its customer service, its tax processing systems, and its online experience for taxpayers, all at the same time.  Let’s see what this means.

IRS Refund Dates 2014: The Old Way

In years past, we submitted our tax return and estimated the date of our IRS refunds based on a generic IRS Refund Cycle.  The Refund cycle charts were simply two-week segments based on the IRS acceptance date of a return.  All one really had to do was count ahead two weeks from date of IRS acceptance of the return and that’s when the refund would be direct deposited or check mailed.

The problem was that there are always exceptions to any charted cycle and you never really knew if that two week period was going to pan out or not.  But now that’s all changed…

IRS Refund Dates 2014: The New Way

What was formerly known as the IRS Refund Schedule is now something completely different.  The IRS now offers a login system where taxpayers can find out personalized information on their IRS tax refunds.  For taxpayers who have filed an income tax return and who expect a refund,  there is now a way to create a login to the IRS website.  After logging in, taxpayers can pull data on their very own tax return and find out where it is on the conveyor belt of tax return processing.  You no longer need to be concerned about IRS Refund Dates for 2014…only your own.

The new system is called the IRS Refund Tracker.  It’s available only from the actual IRS website…accept no substitutes!  You must enter your social security number and some personal tax data from your tax return…all of which are sensitive personal information that should not be entered into any website except the IRS.  The website address must say “IRS.gov” …if you are not sure about checking the validity of an internet address, find a friend who can help you.  Otherwise you are risking identity theft and your IRS tax refund could go straight to a thief!

 

The IRS Refund Cycle Chart for 2014

FastThe IRS Refund Cycle Chart for 2014 looks like this:

You will get your IRS refund within 21 days.  Probably.

There is no predictable cycle that can be charted anymore, thanks to identity thieves who steal refunds.  To combat this type of fraud, the IRS has added layers and layers of checks and tests to the tax return processing routine.  Now, your tax return can be stopped at any number of fraud-alert checkpoints, for further inspection.  Bona fide tax returns get stopped for scrutiny all the time, so even if you are reasonably sure you’ve prepared your tax return correctly and there aren’t any typos, the IRS might still decide something looks fishy and delay your return.  This can cause your IRS refund to get delayed.  There is not a predictable pattern to the process, so the idea of an IRS Refund Cycle Chart is now outdated.  Instead, there’s actually something better.

The IRS Refund Tracker is Better than an IRS Refund Cycle Chart for 2014

Now you can go to the IRS website and create a login to get information about your own tax return and where your refund might be any day.  It’s called the IRS Refund Tracker and it’s available here.  Getting personal information about your tax return is better than anything an IRS Refund Cycle Chart 2014 will tell you anyway.  The chart is simply a schedule showing two week periods, by which you should receive your IRS refund after it’s been accepted by the IRS.  But it was never any guarantee and never gave you any more information than when you should be seeing your refund in your bank account or in the mail.

The IRS still says that everyone should receive refunds within 21 days, and even goes as far as claiming that 9 out of 10 taxpayers received their refunds within 10 days.  However, delays and fraud alerts can delay your refund indefinitely and the IRS can’t or won’t tell you any more than that, even if you call the IRS refund hotline.  The people answering the hotline phones can only tell you what the tracker tells you.  If the IRS has a problem with your return and they require something from you, they will send you a letter in the mail.