Finding a Missing Tax Refund

What do your do if your tax refund is missing?

In order to confirm that your refund has been issued, the IRS provides an online tool called “Where’s My Refund” that you can check. Once the IRS receives your filed return, you can start checking your account status within 24 hours if you submitted an electronic file or within 4 weeks if you submitted a paper mail.

Tax Refund Delays

It should be noted that there are cases where processing your tax return can take longer. As an example, electronically filed tax forms are processed much quicker than paper tax forms.
Furthermore, the IRS takes longer to verify the information on your return, if you have a complicated tax situation.

The way you collect your money affects your refund timeline. Your refund will be issued more quickly if you opt in for the Direct Deposit than if you request a paper check by mail. Allow several business days for your tax refund to appear in your bank account if it is being sent by Direct Deposit.

Have you waited for a long period of time ever since the IRS notified you that your refund has been issued? Among the several things that might have gone wrong, what could have happened is that your check was lost in the mail or there was a Direct Deposit issue.

Paper Check Refunds

The IRS can assist you with tracking down your refund in the case that you did not receive it when you were meant to. To make a request to track down your tax refund, call the IRS customer service line. The IRS can cancel the previous check and send you a new one if the check has not been cashed.

Use the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954 to initiate the process of tracing your tax refund. Married joint filers will have to use Form 3911 on paper to request the trace.

A claim needs to be filed with the Bureau of the Fiscal Service if somebody else cashed your refund check, and you will be issued another check after they review your case and determine you are eligible. It takes about 6 weeks on average to perform this type of investigation. It is very unlikely that you won’t receive a new refund if you have signed the missing check – even if it has been cashed by somebody else.

Direct Deposit Refunds

If you are still waiting for your refund to get deposited into your bank account, then the first thing you have to do is confirm that you provided the IRS with the correct bank routing and account numbers. Call the IRS immediately in the case if you realize that you provided the wrong numbers on the Tax Help Line for individuals which is 800-829-1040. The IRS may be able to cancel the Direct Deposit and have a paper refund mailed to you if they haven’t yet deposited your funds.  

There is also a likelihood that your bank may have denied the deposit due to a discrepancy in the provided information, like the wrong or misspelled name on the account if the IRS had attempted a direct deposit already. If this is your situation a paper refund check will be sent to you by default. To guarantee that you receive your check, you can call the IRS to confirm that your check is in the mail.   

You can deal with the IRS directly if they have deposited your money into the wrong account, even after you provided them with the right account information, to resolve the problem. An investigation can be initiated by calling the IRS on the IRS Refund Hotline 800-829-1954. The money put into the wrong account will be withdrawn and given back to you if the IRS finds out that a mistake was made on their side. However, the IRS will most likely send a paper refund check in this situation, and you might receive only after 6 weeks.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ alexmillos

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