The IRS delays millions of refunds – now what?

January 18, 2017 : Annelise Wiens

As many as 15 million taxpayers could be facing a tax refund delay until as late as February 27 this year, but there are a few tips and tools any taxpayer can use to track their refund and make sure they receive it as early as possible.

First, before filing their tax return, taxpayers need to decide how they want to receive their refund. They generally have two options: have the IRS mail them a check or have the IRS make a direct deposit to a bank account or a prepaid debit card. The IRS says direct deposit is the quickest way to get a refund.

After filing, taxpayers who used H&R Block can find out if the IRS has accepted their e-filed return with the refund status tool with just their name, Social Security number, date of birth and filing method.

Then once the IRS has accepted the e-filed return, taxpayers may check our Where’s My Refund page or the IRS website tool for an expected tax refund date. Taxpayers will need to enter their:

  • Social Security number,
  • filing status and
  • exact refund amount shown on their return.

Depending on how the taxpayer chooses to receive their tax refund, they may need to allow an additional two to five business days from the date indicated by the IRS for their bank to process the refund.

Taxpayers can check their state tax refund status anytime after entering their information.

Taxpayers who want access to funds more quickly than the IRS can process their refund can choose to file at H&R Block and apply for the Refund Advance. After filing, taxpayers can receive the no-interest loan of up to $1,250 within 24 hours in most cases.

The tax refund is the largest single financial transaction many taxpayers will have in a year. These tools will help taxpayers manage and track this important part of their financial life.

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Annelise Wiens

Former Editor and Producer

As the former newsroom editor, Annelise Wiens was interested in more than just tax and industry news, but the stories of H&R Block's 80,000 associates, their communities and H&R Block's world headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Wiens joined H&R Block in 2014 from a public relations agency, where she worked with clients in the financial services industry. Before that, she worked as a communicator for a senior member of the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA with a bachelor's degree in history.

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