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Most Common Tax Refund Myths


Although the IRS issues most tax refunds in less than three weeks, there isn’t actually a specific way for taxpayers to discover when their refunds will be issued. There is important information, however, that can help taxpayers understand the refund process. For instance, the status of a person’s tax return will be posted on the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the IRS website within 24 hours of the agency receiving an e-filed return, or within one month of receiving a mailed tax return. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of inaccurate information about the refund process making its way to taxpayers via social media. For help ensuring that your own tax refund is not delayed as a result of one of these myths, contact the experienced Florida tax return preparation attorney Ronald Cutler today.

Contacting the IRS Will Help You Receive Your Refund Faster 

Many taxpayers believe that contacting the IRS will help speed up their refunds. The reality, however, is that calling the IRS usually doesn’t have any effect on how fast a refund is issued, unless the Where’s My Refund tool on the agency’s website directs a taxpayer to do so. Similarly, ordering a tax transcript won’t help taxpayers find out when they will receive their refund, although taking this step can help taxpayers in other ways by:

  • Validating past income;
  • Discovering the tax filing status of their mortgage;
  • Finding out the status of certain types of loan applications; and
  • Helping with tax return preparation itself.

Ordering a tax transcript, however, will not reveal the processing time of the tax return from receipt to completion.

The IRS Cannot Withhold My Tax Refund  

Although the IRS doesn’t usually withhold tax refunds, it is permitted to do so in certain cases, namely when:

  • A taxpayer owes delinquent federal taxes;
  • A taxpayer owes student loans, state taxes, child support, or another delinquent federal obligation of a non-tax-related variety; or
  • The IRS is reviewing an item claimed on a return.

However, when the IRS withholds part or all of a person’s refund, it is required to mail the taxpayer a letter of explanation. Some taxpayers will also receive a letter from the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service if a refund was reduced to offset certain financial obligations.

I Don’t Need to Adjust Withholding for 2019 If I Receive a Refund This Year 

Although tax season is just coming to an end, the IRS is already encouraging taxpayers to prepare for next year’s filing by:

  • Adjusting their tax withholding with their employers; or
  • Increasing additional or estimated tax payments.

Checking withholding is an important step, because although many taxpayers believe that if they receive a refund in the current year, their withholding will automatically be correct the following year, this is not always the case, especially when a person got an unexpected result after filing their tax return due to withholding too much or too little from their 2018 paychecks. In the event that an adjustment is necessary, taxpayers should submit a 2019 Form W-4, or an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate to their employer as soon as possible.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today  

To speak with dedicated Florida tax return preparation attorney Ronald Cutler, P.A. about the status of your tax refund, please call 386-490-9949 or send us an online message today.