Reasons Why Some Tax Refunds Are Delayed in 2017

Why My Tax Refund Is Delayed

Tax return filings can be stressful, because there are many different rules that may or may not apply to you. If there is a delay in your United States tax refund, it could add even more stress on you. This is why it’s important to take some time to understand whether any rules or tax credits could affect you in receiving your tax return in a timely manner.

January 23, 2017 marked the beginning of U.S. tax return season, although there is still plenty of time to complete your tax return before the submission deadline, which is April 18, 2017.

There is no need to rush to complete your tax return because, if your tax filing has any mistakes or information missing, it could cause delays to your tax return.

There could be a number of other reasons for a delay as well. By reading the following, you will learn about what could cause a delay, how to avoid a delay, and how to check the status of your tax refund. Below, these questions and many more are answered to help you with your tax filing, to prevent any delays in your tax refund.

How Long Does It Take to Get My Tax Refund?

Depending on how you file your taxes, there will be a different expected timeframe for receiving your tax return. Here are the expected time periods to receive your tax refund:

Why Haven’t I Received My Tax Refund (Completed Electronically)?

The quickest method to use to receive your tax refund is to complete an electronic tax form. The tax refund is expected to be directly deposited into your bank account within 21 days of your taxes being filed. However, there could be delays for reasons such as:

Why Haven’t I Received My Tax Refund (Paper-Based)?

Once your paper-based tax return form is filed, the expected time period to receive your tax refund is six weeks. If six weeks have passed and you still have not received your tax refund, one or more of the following factors could be the problem:

What Should I Do If I Submitted a Tax Return and Noticed An Error or Missing Information? 

As humans, we at times, make mistakes, and the IRS understands this. If you realize that you have made an error or have forgotten to fill in some information, then an amended tax return must be completed. By completing the amended tax return, it will delay your tax refund by approximately eight weeks.

Will Making Claims for Tax Credits Delay My Tax Return?

Yes, it is possible to see a delay in receiving your tax refund if you have made claims for some tax credits. This could be because you are applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

There could be two reasons for the delay.

The first is that the IRS is spending more time reviewing your tax return to ensure that there is no fraudulent information submitted in order to receive tax credits. The second reason is that the IRS wants to ensure that you qualify to receive the EITC and/or the ACTC.

Below is information regarding the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit, to ensure that you actually qualify to receive these tax credits. Spending the extra time to ensure that you qualify for these credits should reduce the chances of delays in your refund.

How Do I Receive the Earned Income Tax Credit?

In order to receive the EITC, you must meet at least two of the following requirements:

Below I have provided information on how to qualify for the EITC under the three requirements listed above. By applying on time and by being qualified for the deductions, there should be no delays in receiving your tax refund.

What Is Considered Earned Income to Qualify for the EITC?

In a U.S. tax filing, earned income is considered to be:

Here are some examples of income that would not be considered as earned income for U.S. tax purposes:

What Income Levels Will Be Considered for Me to Be Eligible to Receive the Earned Income Tax Credit?

There are two factors that the IRS will consider in calculating the EITC: income level and the number of qualifying children. Here is a table outlining the details.

When filing as…Zero Qualifying Children One Qualifying ChildTwo Qualifying ChildrenThree or more Qualifying Children

Single, Widowed, or Head of Household $14,880.00 $39,296.00 $44,648.00 $47,955.00
Married and Filing a Joint Tax Return $20,430.00 $44,846.00 $50,198.00 $53,505.00

What Is Considered a Qualifying Child in Order to Receive the Earned Income Tax Credit?

1. Age:

2. Relationship:

3. Living Arrangements:

4. Submitting a Joint Tax Return

What Are the Maximum Credit Amounts for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The maximum amount of credit for the EITC for one  tax year is:

How Do I Receive the Additional Child Tax Credit?

If you have a child or another type of dependent, there is a possibility of claiming a tax credit known as the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The maximum credit that can be claimed is $1,000.00 for each qualifying child. Here is a list of the parameters of what can be considered a qualifying child:

What Are the Limits for the Additional Child Tax Credit?

The maximum credit amount for the ACTC that can be claimed in a tax filing year is $1,000.00 for each qualifying child.

Does My Income Level Affect My Additional Child Tax Credit?

If your gross income is more than the amounts listed below, the ACTC will be lowered.

Can the Same Child Be Claimed Twice?

The simple answer is no. When making a claim for a qualifying child, there can only be one person who can make a claim. Depending on your life situation, you may be thinking you could claim twice for the same child. When such an issue does arise, there are tie-breaker rules in place. Below are a few situations in which this issue may arise, and how to solve it.

When and How to Check the Status of the Refund

Checking the status of your tax return file can be done through the IRS web site.The following information needs to be complete in order to gain access to your tax return file.

Depending on how you submitted your tax filing, it affects when you can see the status of your refund.

How Often Does the Tax Refund Status Update?

Your tax refund status will update on a daily basis, normally at night.

What Does “Received” Mean When Looking at My Tax Refund Status?

The IRS has officially received your completed tax filing and has begun processing it.

What Does “Approved” Mean When Looking at My Tax Refund Status?

The IRS has processed your tax return, and your tax refund has been approved. The tax refund is on its way to you through a check in the mail, or through direct deposit to your bank account.

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