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.