Cal Poly


Commonly Believed Myths about Refunds

When it comes to refunds, most taxpayers want their cash back as soon as possible.  When refunds take longer than expected, taxpayers become anxious and begin to speculate what happened to their refund.  Below are some of the false but commonly held speculations surrounding returns.

All refunds get delayed.

While some refunds do take longer than others to process, approximately 90 percent of federal tax refunds get processed within 21 days.  For returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the IRS is required by legislation to hold these refunds for additional review.  This additional review is part of the IRS’s commitment to security and protecting against identity theft and fraud.

Calling the IRS or my tax preparer will accelerate my refund date.

Most taxpayers think if they check in on the progress of their refund, it will speed up the process.  However, calling for the status of your refund will not change the date or speed of processing.  The best way to check the progress of your refund is online at the tool “Where’s My Refund?”.  The status of refunds is updated daily.

Ordering a tax transcript will get me a refund date.

The information presented on an IRS tax transcript is mostly used to validate prior income and filing status for loan applications and assist with tax preparation, it does not necessarily reflect the accurate timing or amount of the refund.

My refund will be delivered on February 15th.

Although it is true that certain refunds cannot be issued by the IRS before February 15th, refunds will not be immediately available at that date.  If the refund is issued and the taxpayer chose direct deposit, it likely will not arrive in the taxpayers account until February 27th.  If there are additional reviews required for the return or the taxpayer did not chose direct deposit, the refund date will be pushed out further.



Note: This information cannot take the place of advice from a lawyer. Each case is different and needs individual legal advice. You should contact the LITC or a private attorney if you need representation on a tax matter or if you have any questions.

Posted Feb 8, 2017

Recent News

More news


Our Stories

Cal Poly Business Magazine

See More


sample image snippet

Support Learn by Doing