The IRS just answered many Common Tax Season Refund Questions and Myths

The IRS just answered many Common Tax Season Refund Questions and Myths

The IRS just sent out a press release regarding common tax season refund questions and myths.

With millions of taxpayers filing their 2016 tax returns, the IRS has no doubt received a flood of phone calls asking many questions. Today they released a press release regarding some common tax season refund questions. They address the tax delay, when to contact them, tax transcript answers, IRS Where’s My Refund information, and much more.

Tax Season 2017 Tax Myths Expelled by the IRS

The IRS will begin issuing refunds for those who filed Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit on and after February 15th, not before per US law.

Myth: Those Claiming EITC and/or ACTC will be Delivered on Feb. 15
By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds before Feb. 15 for any tax return claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the part related to the EITC or ACTC. The IRS will begin to release these refunds starting Feb. 15.
These refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27. This is true as long as there is no additional review of the tax return required and the taxpayer chose direct deposit. Banking and financial systems need time to process deposits, which can take several days.

All tax refunds are not delayed, only individuals who filed Earned Income or Additional Child Tax Credit. (details)

Myth: All Refunds Are Delayed. While more than 90 percent of federal tax refunds are issued in the normal timeframe – less than 21 days – it is true some refunds may be delayed – but not all of them. Recent legislation requires the IRS to hold refunds for tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until mid-February. Other returns may require additional review for a variety of reasons and take longer. For example, the IRS, along with its partners in the state’s and the nation’s tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud. The IRS encourages taxpayers to file as they normally would.

Calling the IRS is no way will give you different information than Where’s My Refund and there is no secret way to find your tax refund date using your transcript.

Myth: Calling the IRS or My Tax Professional Will Provide a Better Refund Date
Many people mistakenly think that talking to the IRS or calling their tax professional is the best way to find out when they will get their refund. In reality, the best way to check the status of a refund is online through the “Where’s My Refund?” tool at or via the IRS2Go mobile app.
Taxpayers eager to know when their refund will be arriving should use the “Where’s My Refund” tool rather than calling and waiting on hold or ordering a tax transcript. The IRS updates the status of refunds once a day, usually overnight, so checking more than once a day will not produce new information. “Where’s My Refund” has the same information available to IRS telephone assistors so there is no need to call unless requested to do so by the refund tool.
Myth: Ordering a Tax Transcript a “Secret Way” to Get a Refund Date
Ordering a tax transcript will not help taxpayers find out when they will get their refund. The IRS notes that the information on a transcript does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of a refund. While taxpayers can use a transcript to validate past income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications and to help with tax preparation they should use “Where’s My Refund?” to check the status of their refund.

We have also released our best Tax Refund Delay Q&A for those who have more questions. Ours is unofficial though.