The holiday season is an exciting time of year. With Christmas, and all the New Year activity… ball drop, peach drop, champagne toasts and celebratory fire works… the next big thing coming up is tax time. No wonder so many people get depressed after the Holidays!
All of us tax prep types are busy getting all the new IRS rules, tax forms and software set up to go. Meanwhile our clients are patiently, or not, waiting for their w-2’s, 1099’s, etc. so they can get their tax refund. Everyone wants their refund as quick as they can get it, especially those who normally get large Earned Income Credit, EIC, refunds. A lot of companies start putting their w-2’s online about the 2nd week in Jan. Theoretically, if you have all your w-2’s, you could file your return and be good to go. However, IRS normally doesn’t open for business to accept and/or process returns until about the 19th, 20th, or 21st of Jan.
How does IRS work with tax returns??
After IRS officially opens for business, there is still a delay on those big refunds. They don’t start processing returns that include EIC until the middle of Feb, normally about the 15th. That is when the ‘time required to process’ starts. The whole return filing process has been working like this for many years. Yet each year, someone will come in with their w-2 that was posted online Jan 9, wanting to file a return to get their refund.
When will I get my refund??
We always tell clients that their federal refund will require 10 – 14 days from the date it was accepted by the IRS. Yet the person above, who wanted to file on Jan 9, will call about the 15th of Jan wanting to know where their refund is. The process is this… even if your EIC return is prepared on Jan 9, IRS won’t accept it until about the 20th or 21st of Jan, and won’t even think about processing it until about Feb 15th. Then, it is 10 – 14 business days more before you will get your refund. So, the earliest you can get an EIC refund is the end of Feb, even if your return is prepared early in Jan,