Still waiting for your tax refund? The IRS may owe you more money

This story is part Taxes 2022CNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything else you need to get your return filed quickly, accurately and on time.

The US income tax filing deadline (or a extension) passed on April 18, and most Americans received the tax refund coming your way. The IRS’s final filing report for the 2022 tax season shows that the agency has issued more than 96 million refunds for an average of $3,039 each.

If you filed your return on time but did not receive the expected tax refund, it is possible that the IRS will owe you more money. Your tax refund comes from your “overpayment” of taxes in 2021, and the IRS is required to start paying interest on your overpayment 45 days after receiving your tax return.

See More information: 8 reasons why your tax refund might be late

To determine the status of your expected tax refund, you can use the IRS tax refund tracker, which will also tell you if your return was rejected by the IRS because of errors.

Read on to learn how IRS overpayment interest works, how to use agency tools to track your tax refund, and how to access your IRS account online for more information.

What if I file my tax return on time but don’t get my refund?

There are several reasons why your tax return may not have been processed completely, resulting in a late refund. You may have made errors on your return that required manual processing, or you simply included an unusual form. Regardless of the reason for the delay, if the IRS does not issue your refund within 45 days of receiving the return, the agency is obligated to begin paying interest on the refund amount.

The 45-day period begins on the day your tax return was due or your “processable” tax return was received by the IRS, whichever is later. If you registered electronically on time, the count started on April 18; if you filed a paper return, it started the day the IRS marked your return as accepted.

The bad news is that any IRS interest you receive on your refund will be taxable income, just like the interest you would earn from a Checking or savings account. The good news is that interest on overpayments to the IRS will rise to 5% starting July 1. As Federal Reserve raising rates by 0.75% in early June, a full-point increase in the IRS interest rate will take effect next month.

How long does it take to get a tax refund?

The IRS usually issues federal tax refunds within three weeks. Some taxpayers may have to wait a little longer, especially if there are errors on their return.

When an issue delays your return, its resolution “depends on how quickly and accurately you respond and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete processing your return,” according to the IRS website. IRS

The date you receive your tax refund also depends on the method you used to file your return.

If your tax refund is into your bank account via direct deposit, it may take another five days for your bank to place the money in your account. This means that if it takes the IRS a full 21 days to issue your check and your bank takes five days to deposit it, you can wait a full 26 days to get your tax refund. Online services like Venmo and Cash App can deliver your tax refund a few days early since there is no waiting period for direct deposit.

If you filed a tax return by mail, the IRS says it can take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive once it’s processed.

What can delay my tax refund?

Here are some typical reasons why tax refunds are late:

In testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, IRS Commissioner Charles P. Retting said the agency received “far more than 10 million returns” in the past year in which taxpayers failed to properly reconcile their received stimulus payments with your recovery refund credit, which required manual review and resolution.

If the delay is due to a necessary tax correction made to a recovery discount credit, earned income tax, or additional child tax credit claimed on your return, the IRS will send an explanation. If there is an issue that needs to be fixed, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. However, if you need more information, you will write a letter.

If you requested a paper check for your tax refund, it will also take longer — about six to eight weeks, according to the IRS.

How to Track Your Refund Using the IRS’s Where’s My Refund Tool

To use the IRS tracking tools, you will need to provide your CPF or CNPJ; your filing status (single, married or head of household); and your refund amount in full dollars, which you can find on your tax return.

Make sure at least 24 hours have passed before you start tracking your refund, or up to four weeks if you mailed your return.

Go to the Get Refund Status page on the IRS website and enter your personal details and press Submit. You should be taken to a page that shows the status of your refund. Otherwise, you may be asked to verify your personal tax details and try again. If all the information looks correct, you will need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.

What if I’m looking for return information from a previous tax year?

The Where’s My Refund tool lists the federal refund information the IRS has for the past two years. If you are looking for return details from previous years, you will need to check your IRS online account.

From there, you’ll be able to see the total amount you owe, your payment history, important information about your most recent tax return, notices received from the IRS, and your registered address.

How to use the IRS2Go app to track your return

IRS2Go logo

The IRS2Go app is available for iOS and Android.


The IRS also has a mobile app, IRS2Go, that checks the status of your tax refund. It is available for iOS and Android and in English and Spanish.

With it, you will be able to see if your return has been received and approved and if a refund has been sent.

To log in, you’ll need your Social Security number, filing status, and your expected refund amount. The IRS updates the application overnight, so if you don’t see a status change, check back the next day.

What do these IRS tax return statuses mean?

Both IRS tools (online and mobile app) will show one of three messages to explain the status of your tax return.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if any.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check sent to your mailbox. (See how change the address in the file if you moved.)

Why do I see a “Tax Topic 151”, “Tax Topic 152” or IRS error message?

While the Where’s My Refund tool will normally show a status of Received, Approved or Sent, there are a variety of other messages that some users may see.

One of the most common is Tax Topic 152, indicating that you are likely to receive a refund, but it has not yet been approved or submitted. The notice simply leads to an informational topic page on the IRS FAQ website, explaining the types and timing of tax refunds.

The delay may be an automated message to taxpayers claiming the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit submitted due to additional fraud protection measures.

Tax Topic 151 means your tax return is now under review by the IRS. The agency needs to verify certain credits or dependents or has determined that your tax refund will be reduced to pay the money it believes you owe.

You will need to wait about four weeks to receive a notice from the IRS explaining what you need to do to resolve the status.

There are other IRS refund codes that a small percentage of taxpayers receive, indicating freezes, mathematical errors on tax returns, or undelivered checks. College Investor offers a list of IRS reimbursement reference codes and errors and their meanings.

Can I call the IRS for answers?

While you can try calling the IRS to verify your status, the agency’s live telephone assistance is extremely limited.

The IRS is directing taxpayers to the Let Us Help You page on its website and to get help in person at Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country. You can contact your local IRS office or call to make an appointment: 844-545-5640. You may also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service if you are eligible for assistance by calling: 877-777-4778.

While the chances of getting live assistance are slim, the IRS says you should only call the agency directly if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online or if the Where’s My Refund tool asks for it. You can call 800-829-1040 or 800-829-8374 during business hours.

If you have not yet received a refund, you should not file a second tax return.

Why do I see “IRS TREAS 310” on my bank statement?

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you will be able to see IRS TREAS 310 listed in the transaction. Code 310 simply identifies the transaction as a refund of a tax return filed on the electronic payment method. you can also see TAX REFERENCE in the description field for a refund.

if you see a 449 rather than 310means your repayment has been offset by defaulted debts.

Why was my refund mailed instead of being deposited in my bank account?

There are a few reasons why your refund would be sent to you. Your money can only be electronically deposited into a bank account with your name, your spouse’s name or a joint account. If your bank rejected the deposit for some reason, it might be the next best way to get your refund.

Also, the IRS can only directly deposit up to three refunds into an account, so if you are receiving multiple refund checks, they will have to be mailed. If you are receiving a refund check in the mail, learn how trace it from the IRS to your mailbox.

It is important to note that direct deposit is not always automatic for refunds. To be sure, log into your IRS account to verify that the agency has your correct banking information.

How do I track my refund if it is arriving in the mail?

The US Postal Service’s Informed Delivery service is a free mail tracking program that scans incoming letters and sends an image when they are about to be delivered.

Informed Delivery has free apps for Android and iOS.

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