Potential 2015 Tax Refund Delays

For one reason or another, IRS tax refunds are sometimes delayed. Tax experts at H&R Block may be able to analyze the situation, while announcements from the IRS can give people a time estimate.

According to the agency, most taxpayers should get their refund within 21 days of filing their tax returns. The waiting game is nerve-racking though. It’s like waiting at the doctor’s office or DMV. Simply waiting at a red light can leave you wondering what’s ahead.

There are many reasons for a delay. Typos in information such as one’s Social Security Number delay processing since the entry on the tax form doesn’t match other government records. The taxpayer may owe money.

The balance owed offsets any possible refund – the total which may be used in part to pay the balance. In some cases, all of the refund will go towards the payment. Other tax issues can impact refund delivery. Additional documentation may be needed, or the IRS may audit the taxpayer.

What’s Different In 2015?

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. This is enforced through the tax return process. All taxpayers will have to prove they were insured in 2014 on their returns.

For example, someone with a Marketplace plan will receive a statement as Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. The information on this form will need to be entered on Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit that is to be included on the return. Complicating matters will be the need to fill out monthly line items. Each of these will be used to calculate the total tax credit amount the filer is eligible for.

There are several reasons this can cause delays in getting a refund, including:

  • The form is missing, or data do not match other records.
  • Each form will be reviewed by a person, so time estimates are hard to come by.
  • Cuts in the IRS budget and backlogs in the process.

Any further review can add at least a week to processing, according to the IRS. It is therefore important to check the right forms have the correct information, and you double-check what’s on there prior to sending it in. In addition to 1095-A, be sure Forms W-2 and 1099 are included where applicable.

Also, don’t try to estimate numbers for Form 8962. That can result in a mismatch of data and further delays. Be patient and wait for Form 1095-A to arrive in the mail.

Official IRS communications are sent via mail. Respond to only these contacts only, as the agency won’t tell you there are problems or more information is needed by email or text. Follow these tips and you’re more likely to get your refund back on time.

How TurboTax Can Help

Starting Jan 2, TurboTax will securely hold and then submit customers’ tax return to the IRS as soon as the agency begins accepting returns. TurboTax will process tax returns on a first-in, first-out basis. Although the IRS does not anticipate refund delays, taxpayers are encouraged to e-file and use direct deposit as the fastest way to get their refunds. As it did last year, the IRS expects to issue nine out of ten tax refunds in 21 days or less.

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