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How Do I Receive My Refund Via Direct Deposit?
If you choose to receive your tax refund via direct bank deposit, your expected tax refund will be electronically transferred from the IRS (US Treasury) to the bank account you entered during your online tax return process at efile.com. This transfer is free of charge. Estimated tax refund dates are based on the IRS acceptance date and are not guaranteed by efile.com or the IRS. Depending on IRS security procedures, the tax refund date could take up to 21 days after the IRS tax return acceptance date, or as early as 7 days via the bank direct deposit method.
Will My Refund Be Delayed or Late This Year?
Since the IRS has added security measures for filing 2016 Tax Returns to decrease tax fraud, your refund may be delayed in 2017. The IRS requires online tax websites to add identity verification steps to ensure that the taxpayer filing their return is exactly who they say they are (i.e. security questions/answers, stronger passwords, etc). As a result of these new security measures, the IRS may issue more refunds as paper checks, even if taxpayers requested direct deposit.
If I Claim the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, Will My Refund Be Delayed?
The IRS is required to not issue entire tax refunds with the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit until February 15, 2017. This is for identity and security reasons to make sure you receive the refund instead of another person committing tax return fraud in your name.
What If My Refund Is Lower Than I Expected?
If you prepared and efiled your tax return on efile.com (or on any online tax site), and the amount of your direct deposit refund is lower than the refund calculated on your tax return, then your refund may have been adjusted, or offset, by the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). The Program is run by the Financial Management Services (FMS). Under TOP, various federal and state government agencies are authorized to seize outstanding federal or state debts from federal tax refunds.
The FMS may offset part or all of your federal tax refund to pay:
- Unpaid child support
- Federal non-tax debts (including student loan repayments)
- State income tax debts
- State unemployment compensation debts
When Does an Offset Occur and Will It Delay My Refund?
An offset for non-tax debts occur after the IRS verified your refund to FMS for payment, but before FMS direct deposits the refund or mails a paper check to you. Though an offset reduces the amount of your expected refund via direct deposit or check, it does not delay the time you will receive the remaining refund (if any) after the offset.
How Will I Know That My Refund Has Been Offset?
You will receive a notice from FMS via mail. The notice will list the original refund and offset amounts. It will also include the agency that received the offset payment and their contact information.
What Can I Do Before Filing My Tax Return If I Know I Have Past Debt?
If you have non-tax debts, you can contact the agency you owe. That way, you can determine if the agency submitted your debts to TOP for refund offset.
I Don't Believe I Owe the Tax Debt. How Can I Dispute the Offset?
You will need to contact the agency that received the offset part of your refund, not the IRS or FMS. The notice will include instructions on how to contact the appropriate agency or agencies.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Further Questions About My Offset Notice?
You can call the Treasury Offset Program Call Center at (800) 304-3107.
If I'm an Injured Spouse, May I Qualify for my Part or All of the Refund?
If you efiled or filed a joint tax return, you may be entitled to part or all of the refund offset. This rule applies if your spouse is mainly responsible for the debt. File Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation efile it to request your part of the refund.
When Will I Receive My Tax Refund for An Amended Tax Return?
You should wait three weeks after you mailed your amended return before checking your amended tax return status. The online "Where's my refund" service does not keep track of amendment refunds, but you can check the IRS "Where's My Amended Return" tool on the IRS website. This online tool provides the status of amended tax returns for the current year and up to three prior years. Alternatively, you can access the tool via phone by calling 1-866-464-2050.
What's My Amended Tax Return Status?
Amended returns typically take 8-12 weeks for the IRS to process, so you should wait at least 8 weeks before checking on the status of your tax refund. If it has been over 12 weeks since you filed your amendment and you have not received your refund, you should call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and speak to a customer service representative. Here's a tip for when you call: Press 1 (for English), press 0 (zero), press 0 (zero), and you should be able to talk to a live person at the IRS. The best time to reach the IRS is between 7-9 AM and 6-7 PM, Monday-Friday.
Learn more about amending or changing a tax return.