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Typically, you will receive a refund within 21 days if you’ve filed an accurate, electronic return with direct deposit for the payment, according to the IRS. Paper filings and errors may extend the timeline. You can check the agency’s refund portal for status updates.
The timeline changes if you’re claiming the earned income tax credit — a tax break for low- to moderate-income workers — or the additional child tax credit. While the IRS can’t begin issuing these refunds before mid-February, you should receive the funds by Feb. 28 if there are no issues with your return.
Sheneya Wilson, a certified public accountant and founder of Fola Financial in New York, advised taxpayers to begin the tax-filing process with a “full audit of your financial year.”
You’ll want to identify all sources of income, major expenses and life changes, such as marriage, divorce or having a baby, which may affect your filing. While your finances may change from year to year, your 2021 tax return may provide a rough guideline of what to expect, she said.
While you may be eager for a refund, the IRS says to wait until you have all the necessary information. “Filing an accurate tax return can help taxpayers avoid delays or later IRS notices,” the agency said in a recent news release.
The IRS said this is “especially important” if you’re receiving a Form 1099 for unemployment income, capital gains or dividends, pensions or retirement plan distributions.
“It’s more important to get it right than to get it out quickly,” said certified financial planner Marianela Collado, CEO of Tobias Financial Advisors in Plantation, Florida. She is also a certified public accountant.
Companies prepare information returns, such as 1099s, every year, with a copy going to the IRS and the taxpayer. If you skip any of these forms, the IRS system automatically flags your return and sends you a notice, which may take time to resolve.
Of course, you’ll want to double-check the details entered from your tax forms. “I always say haste makes waste,” Collado said.
Tax return typos are another common reason for processing delays, Wilson said.
Whether you file on your own or work with a professional, it’s critical to review your tax return, including all of your personal information — such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, address and banking details for direct deposit — to make sure everything is accurate, she said.