The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a press statement yesterday, Feb. 14, asking anxious taxpayers to restrain themselves in their use of the “Where’s My Refund” tool. The site is experiencing heavy traffic, which could disrupt service. According to the IRS, the site is updated only once each evening. Taxpayers that check their refund status throughout the day will not see any change in information.
The “Where’s My Refund” tool updates the status of a tax return three times: When the return is accepted, when it is approved, and when the refund is processed. Most taxpayers can expect a refund within 21 days. Taxpayers that use IRS e-file and direct the IRS to deposit refunds into a bank account will see their refunds sooner.
The 2013 tax filing season got off to a late start this year because changes to the American Tax Relief Act were not passed by Congress until Jan. 2, and the IRS needed additional week to update forms and systems. The IRS began accepting most tax returns on Jan. 30, although some returns, such as those that included Education Tax Credits, were not accepted until Feb. 8.
Taxpayers that have not yet filed their 2012 tax return can avoid delays by double-checking Social Security numbers and birth dates; these common errors can result in a rejected return and require resubmission.