If you electronically file (e-file) your tax return
If you e-file, the IRS will notify you within 24 hours if your tax 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 more quickly– sometimes within ten days if you ask for a direct deposit or 21 days if you ask to have a check mailed to you.
The PATH Act made the following changes, which became effective for the 2016 filing season, to help prevent revenue loss due to identity theft and refund fraud related to fabricated wages and withholdings:
- The IRS may not issue a credit or refund to you before February 15th, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return.
- This change only affects returns claiming EITC or ACTC filed before February 15.
- The IRS will hold your entire refund, including any part of your refund not associated with the EITC or ACTC.
- Neither TAS, nor the IRS, can release any part of your refund before that date, even if you're experiencing a financial hardship.
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 at the IRS 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 payment to make sure you get credit on your account:
If you e-file, the e-file system will provide you a voucher to mail with your payment.
If you mail your return, send IRS Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, when mailing your payment.
If you can’t pay, you have options for making payments over time.