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.