Across the internet and here at Taxbrain, taxpayers are sounding off about their tax refunds. The season got off to a late and bumpy start due to the January budget deal, and the IRS has made major changes to the way they process tax returns. As a result, things just aren’t running like they used to and taxpayers feel like they are getting the runaround.
In the past, refunds were processed on a weekly cycle. Many people remember the old “Refund Cycle Chart” that showed the exact dates that direct deposits would be issued. The new system allows the IRS to process different groups of returns, well – differently. Part of this is to better verify taxpayer information before issuing refunds and part of this is to combat identity theft and provide greater control over fraudulent tax returns. Refunds are no longer paid out in the order in which they were received.
It seems that for some people, refunds are being paid with lightning speed and efficiency. For others, no matter how clean their past filing records, the tax refunds appear to be lost in space.
The IRS has made it clear that 9 in 10 refunds should be delivered within 21 days of being accepted by the IRS. To keep taxpayers informed about the status of their refunds, there is an updated Where’s My Refund Tool that shows the progress of the tax return through the IRS processing system.
For further information, here’s the link to the IRS Refund FAQ.
Yes, many things have changed at the IRS this year. But for now, the system does seem to be working as planned.