How Do Federal Tax Refunds Get Delayed?


Quick Answer

Federal tax refunds get delayed because the taxpayer owes back-tax, is delinquent on child support or claims an unallowable deduction, explains TaxAct. Other reasons for a delay include an incorrect Social Security number listed on the tax return; a delinquency in a federal debt, such as a student loan; or a first-time filing.

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Full Answer

Filing an incomplete tax return is another reason for the delay of a taxpayer's refund, explains TurboTax. Failure to include the taxpayer's basic information, such as the number of dependents, can hold up the refund significantly. For those who file a paper return, delays happen when the taxpayer fails to include 1099 forms or W-2 forms or fails to attach the necessary schedules.

Incorrect computations, such as an error in the computation of taxes or an error in the computation of deductions, are another reason for a tax refund delay. Filing a tax return early or late may result in a delay as well. Filing early can hurt a taxpayer because the Internal Revenue Service may still be in the process of updating software. Filing late could cause a delay because there may be a higher volume of returns to process as it gets closer to the filing deadline, TurboTax reports.

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