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Tax Refund Time Frame

Tax Refund Time Frame

Some time frame specifications regarding the filing of the returns, the processing and actual posting of the refund have been discussed here. Though the timetable of this time frame is not exactly the same every year, save some minor changes.
Scholasticus K
The concept of tax refund is found in almost all tax systems all over the world. A refund is a repayment of excess tax paid over tax liability. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service declares a certain timetable following which the refund is paid to tax payers. The tax refund time frame tends to differ based upon the channel through which the income tax return was filed.

Channel of Refund

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), sees to the payment of the appropriate refunds, through three chief channels, which go as follows:
  1. The first one's the conventional and quite easy, owing to the fact that you don't have to go about fulfilling compliance, all you need to do is file the return and sit back till the paper check arrives at your door step. If all the details on the check such as your name and personal details are accurate and clear, you can en-cash or deposit the check into any standard bank account.
  2. Your second option is the Direct Deposit. In the direct deposit, you will have to file From 8888, through which you can convey your bank account's details to the IRS. Tax payers are allowed to request the IRS to deposit amount of refund into 3 different accounts or even two or one. Upon the assessment and computation of the total amount to be wired to the accounts, the IRS electronically wires the said funds into the account.
  3. The third option is the issue of U.S. Series I Savings Bonds instead of the actual refund amount. It must be noted that the bond amount is exactly equal to the amount of refund.
Apart from the aforementioned options, the IRS provides the Injured Spouse Allocation to married people where one of the spouse gets the authority to execute tax filing in the absence of the other.

Processing Time

There are three time frames for the processing of our income tax returns.
  1. In cases where the completed hand filled paper income tax return forms have been filed, the processing takes up 6 weeks time, following which the refund, as per tax payer's request is immediately provided.
  2. In case of electronic filing, that is filing through the Internet, the tax refund is provided after 3 weeks of processing. The 3 weeks are supposed to be counted following the date of acknowledgment of filing.
  3. The refunds of amended, corrected, discarded and other such returns which had been subject to invalidity, are issued from 8-12 weeks of filing.
After the Time is Up

Following the refund time, if you still haven't got the refund then the IRS provides sufficient redress measures that ensure that you get the refund. The best way to check on the status of your return is to check the 'Where's My Refund' tool which is updated every Wednesday. This way you will know where your return actually is.

The second option is 800-829-1954 Refund Hotline of the IRS, where, by furnishing the officials with Social Security number, filing status, the dollar amount of tax, you will get to know about the status of the Refund.

It is recommended by the IRS to wait till the appropriate time period has elapsed before one starts hunting for the refund check or amount. Apart from that as per Topic 303, there are countless holdup and problems can arise in the filing. Apart the aforementioned dates and week time periods, it is essential that you also check that specified years timetable which is released by the IRS, just to make sure that you are on the right track.