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The IRS Responds to 5 Common Myths About Tax Refunds

The IRS Responds to 5 Common Myths About Tax Refunds

On July 16, 2020, exactly one day after the tax filing and payment deadline, the IRS reminds Americans that “there is no secret way to find out when a refund will be issued.” 

This year’s tax deadline was postponed 3 months from the original and usual date of April 15. July 15, 2020 became the new deadline and now that it has passed, many taxpayers are eager to receive their refund. However, there are several myths regarding tax refunds and the IRS wants you to know the truth.

Myth #1  If you get a refund this year, you don’t need to adjust withholding for 2020. 

The Truth The IRS stated that you can avoid a surprise next year by looking to make changes now. It is suggested to check with your employer to ensure that neither more or less than the necessary tax is withheld from your paycheck. You can use the Tax Withholding Estimator to figure out the right amount.

Myth #2  You can get your refund faster by working with a tax professional or calling the IRS. 

The Truth The IRS stated that neither IRS staff or tax professionals will help you get your refund any faster. 

Myth #3  Ordering a tax transcript is a secret way to get a refund date.

The Truth The IRS stated that ordering a tax transcript will provide no information about when your tax refund is expected and it will not expedite the process.

Myth #4  The “Where's My Refund?” tool is wrong because there's no deposit date yet.

The Truth The IRS stated that this tool provides the status of whether or not the tax return has been received and is being processed. Processing times vary depending on factors such as errors, incomplete returns, fraud, and more. Taxpayers will be contacted by mail if the IRS needs more time to process their return.

Myth #5  Something must be wrong if your refund is less than you expected it to be.

The Truth The IRS stated that there are many reasons why a refund may be less than expected. These reasons include, but are not limited to taxpayer calculation errors, owing taxes or child support, or the IRS reviewing a particular item. Taxpayers will be contacted by mail if the IRS makes adjustments.

A few more truths regarding tax refunds:

Truth 1: Filing electronically and using direct deposit can help you receive your refund faster .

Truth 2: Mailing a paper return can slow down the processing of your refund.

Truth 3: The best and easiest way to check on a refund is "Where's My Refund? ".

The IRS wants taxpayers to know the truth. The IRS wants to remind you that you “can call the IRS's automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954, which uses the same information as "Where's My Refund?". There is no need to call the IRS unless Where's My Refund? says to do so.”

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