Tax Filing Season Opens – Stay up to Date on Your Refund

The much-anticipated filing season for Tax Year 2018 – and the first filing season to reflect the sweeping changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – opened on Monday (January 28).  For tax professionals and taxpayers alike, there are a lot of questions that will likely stay unanswered for the foreseeable future.

One question that has been at the forefront of taxpayer concerns, however, is: When will I get my refund? The IRS stated in its January 7, 2019 release that it would “provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.”  Assuming all goes according to plan (a bold assumption in the shadow of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and the threat of another shutdown looming), more than 90% of refunds are issued in less than twenty-one days from the date the return is processed. Because electronically-filed returns are processed faster than the traditional paper returns sent though the postal service, taxpayers who e-file and provide direct deposit information are likely to see refunds hit their bank accounts the fastest. One tool that the IRS has provided is a “Check My Refund Status” link (and mobile app) that allows taxpayers to track the status of their return and refund.  Taxpayers will need their social security number or ITIN, filing status, and exact refund amount in order to access this tool. For taxpayers who e-file, the IRS provides that information should be available approximately twenty-four hours after e-filing. For returns filed by mail, refund status information can take up to four weeks before becoming available.

For taxpayers who take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) or Additional Child Tax Credit, however, refunds will not be issued until February 27, 2019, regardless of when the return is filed. The “Check My Refund Status” tool will be available to taxpayers claiming these credits beginning February 23, 2019.