Don’t let these 8 factors hold up your federal tax refund.
8 Things that Can Delay Your Income Tax Refund
If you’re expecting a tax refund, you probably want that money to show up in your bank account or mailbox as quickly as possible. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues most refunds within 21 calendar days after you file your return.
However, mistakes, discrepancies and other factors can delay your refund. Click or swipe to learn 8 reasons the IRS could delay sending your tax refund.
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1. Filing a paper return
When you e-file, you’ll usually receive your refund faster than when you file and mail a paper 1040 return. Paper filers must wait four weeks after filing to check refund status at Where’s My Refund, but those who file electronically can check refund status 24 hours after filing. 
E-filing with tax preparation software can help prevent mistakes like missing information, forgetting to sign the return or other factors that can delay a refund. You may qualify to e-file your taxes for free with user-friendly, brand-name software. Visit IRS Free File for details. 
2. Missing or wrong social security number
If you forget to fill your social security number in the correct box on Form 1040, that oversight can increase or decrease tax or delay a refund, according to the IRS. The same goes for putting in the wrong social security number by inverting digits or making another error.
If you don’t have a social security number, you can apply for one by completing Form SS-5 and returning it with necessary documentation to the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Once the SSA has all the information, you should receive a social security number within two weeks.
3. Your name changed
Did you change your name due to marriage, divorce or another reason but failed to report the name change to the Social Security Administration? If so, the name discrepancy between IRS and SSA records could delay the IRS processing your return and issuing any refund due.
Make sure you report your changed name to the Social Security Administration before filing your 2019 tax return to avoid delays and protect your future social security benefits. 
4. Death of a taxpayer
When a taxpayer dies before filing a return for the tax year, his or her spouse, executor or personal representative may have to file and sign a return for that person.
The person filing the federal return must enter the word “Deceased,” the taxpayer’s name and the date of death across the top of the return, according to the IRS. Failing to write that information on the return can delay processing of the return and any refund.
5. Filing more than one return for the same year
If you get antsy waiting on a refund, filing another tax return or sending a new copy of your return to the IRS because you worry the original got overlooked could delay your refund. Only send a new copy of your federal tax return when asked to do so by the IRS.
6. Earned Income Credit Delays
The IRS can’t issue Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a benefit for people with low or moderate incomes, or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) for tax year 2019 before Mid-February. Most EITC/ACTC-related refunds should be available on taxpayer debit cards or in their bank accounts by the first week of March, according to the IRS.
7. Failure to file back tax returns
The IRS may hold your refund for the most recent tax year if you have an unfiled return from a prior year and the IRS believes you will owe tax. If the IRS is holding your refund due to one or more unfiled tax returns, the agency will send a notice in the mail informing you of the reason for holding your refund. 
If you fail to respond to that notice, the IRS will send a second notice, with calculated tax, penalty and interest due, based on income and wages reported by employers, banks and other institutions. 
8. Making common errors
Review your tax return carefully before filing, since mistakes and missing or inaccurate information can delay processing.  Common errors that can delay processing and a refund include incorrect direct deposit routing or account numbers, choosing more than one filing status or illegible name, taxpayer identification number and current address. 
Published by Debt.com, LLC