If you e-file
If you e-file, the IRS will notify you within 24 hours if your return was received and accepted or if it’s being rejected.
The IRS accepts most returns, but if it has a problem such as an incorrect Social Security number, the IRS will reject your return and tell you how to fix it. You can usually fix the problem and try to e-file again, but in some cases you’ll need to submit a paper return instead.
E-filed returns are processed faster than paper ones, and so refunds come back more quickly– sometimes within 10 days if you ask for a direct deposit or 21 days if you ask to have a check mailed to you.
The PATH Act, Section 201 made the following changes to help prevent revenue loss due to identity theft and refund fraud related to fabricated wages and withholdings:
- No credit or refund of an overpayment for a taxable year shall be made to a taxpayer before the 15th day of the second month following the close of such taxable year, if the taxpayer claims the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on the return. (starting Jan. 1, 2017)
- This change only affects returns claiming EITC or ACTC that are filed before Feb. 15.
- The IRS will hold the entire refund, including any part of the refund that is not associated with the EITC or ACTC.
- Neither TAS, nor the IRS, can release any part of the refund before that date, even if you are experiencing a financial hardship based on the law.
If you owe taxes
If you owe taxes on your return, you can schedule the payment to be deducted from your bank account or mail a check to the IRS. To avoid any additional charges, schedule your payment to be deducted on any day up to the due date of the return, or mail your check in time to be received by that date. If you mail a check, you can expect the IRS to cash it within a week or two of receipt.
Include the following information on your check to make sure you get credit for the payment:
If you e-filed, the e-file system will provide you a voucher to mail with your check.
If you mailed your return, send IRS Form 1040-V - Payment Voucher, when mailing your check.
If you can’t pay, you have options for making payments over time.