Tax Refund

In the United States, taxpayers will get a tax refund, a refund on their U.S. income tax, if the tax they owe is less than the sum of:

 

  • The total amount of refundable tax credits that they claim.
  • The total amount of withholding that they paid.

 

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 77% of tax returns filed in 2004 received a refund check, with the average refund check being $2,100. Taxpayers may choose to have their refund directly deposited into their bank account, have a check mailed to them, or have their refund applied to the following year's income tax.

 

Every year, a number of U.S. taxpayers around the country get tax refunds even if they owe zero income tax. This is due to withholding calculations and the earned income tax credit. Because withholding is calculated on an annualized basis, an individual just entering the work force or unemployed for a long period of time will have more tax than is owed withheld.

 

Refunds are a common means to receive a tax refund early, but at the expense of high fees. In the 1990's, refunds could take as long as twelve weeks to come back to the taxpayer; however, the average time for a refund is now six weeks, with refunds from electronically filed returns coming in three weeks.

 

The Internal Revenue Service began its 2010 filing system with instructions on how to apply for newly enacted tax breaks and recommendations that more taxpayers give up paper and file electronically. The agency said that it will send out 17 million tax packages this week to taxpayers who previously filed paper returns. The IRS expects to process about 136 million individual tax returns for 2010, with more than half filed electronically. Induvidual taxpayers will get their refunds faster through e-file. Even more importantly, e-file will greatly reduce the chances for making an error compared to claiming the deductions on the paper 1040.

 

If you file a complete and accurate tax return and you are due a refund, your refund will be issued within six weeks from the date we receive your return. If you filed electronically, refund checks will be issued within three weeks after the acknowledgment date. Refunds from amended returns will be issued within 8–12 weeks.

 

Taxpayers can also track theri records through the online tool, " Where is my Tax Refund?" - Available on IRS web site.

 

Where is my Refund?

For those who think a refund is taking too long to arrive in their bank account or mailbox, the IRS maintains a free and automated online inquiry service to let taxpayers check the status of their return.

 

To get to your personal refund information, be ready to enter your:

  • Social Security Number (or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
  • Filing status (Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er)
  • Exact refund amount shown on your return.

If you don’t receive your refund within 28 days from the original IRS mailing date shown on Where’s My Refund?, you can start a refund trace online.

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