TAX

The 2014 Refund Cycle Chart

Waiting for your 2014 IRS Refund?  Try using the online tracking tool to see where your money is today.   If you are looking for the 2014 Refund Cycle Chart then you haven’t heard the news: there is no longer such a thing!  Now it’s the online IRS refund tracking tool, located on the IRS website.

What Was the 2014 Refund Cycle Chart?

Well, used to be an actual, predictable cycle around which the IRS processed its tax returns.  If the tax return was received by a certain date, you could expect a refund by a certain date.  Usually the cycle was about two weeks.  So, Refund Cycle charts would be published, and we all got used to looking up our dates on the charts.  It was all pretty routine and predictable.

Why is There No Longer a Refund Cycle Chart?

Two words: identity theft.  People who steal social security numbers sometimes use them to file fraudulent tax returns.  What the heck do they get from that, you ask?  They get an IRS refund that wasn’t meant for them, that’s what!

So, in order to combat fraud, the IRS has all kinds of new security alert features built into its tax return processing systems.  That means delays for some taxpayers.  The refund cycle chart no longer pertains to today’s fraud-alert system used by the IRS because it’s impossible to predict whose  return will get flagged and whose will fly through the system.

Well Then How Do I Find Out About My IRS Tax Refund?

There’s actually something better: the IRS Refund Tracker tool.  It’s better because it pulls information about your particular refund, and where it is, whether your tax return has been processed or if it got flagged.  With the old system you simply consulted an all-purpose one size fits all refund cycle chart and guessed at how long it would take for your IRS refund to get to you.

To see the online IRS refund tracker go here to the IRS website.  Don’t go anywhere else because you wouldn’t want to enter your personal data on a fraudulent site.

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2014 Tax Refund Dates: Don’t Make This Mistake!

Now that Tax Season is here, you’ll want to know this important information about the 2014 Tax Refund Dates.  Refunds will be processed by the IRS as quickly and efficiently as ever, but with fraud protection now built into the process, Refund Dates are hard to predict.  The IRS makes no promises as far as refund dates go.  This is why you should not count on your 2014 Tax Refund to arrive by a certain date.  Don’t make large purchases based on covering the bill with your IRS refund.  If you are one of those people still out there making this mistake, read on to find out why you’re just setting yourself up to headaches and misery if you do this.

Why You Can’t Count on Specific 2014 Tax Refund Dates

The IRS has really revamped its tax return processing procedures in the last few years.  They wised up to fraud and now are truly aggressive in fighting it .  That means they’ll stop everything if they see anything that’s even remotely suspicious.  So, if your tax return has even so much as a typo, the gears come to a grinding halt while it’s pulled for double checking.  Not only that, but this can happen anywhere along the pipeline of the tax-return processing highway.  Therefore, if you check the status of your 2014 refund and its seems to be progressing nicely, that’s nice but it could get delay at any time.  In other words, your refund isn’t done until you actually see it in  your bank account or in your mailbox.

So, any online tax prep company that’s suggesting they can get your 2014 IRS Refund faster for you, or can even tell you when it will be ready, is trying to pull a fast one on you.  The official word directly from the source: the IRS, admits that “…you can generally expect” them to have your refund sent to you in 21 days.  There’s a lot of wiggle room in that phrase.  Anything can be a rule if you say “in general” before it!

To check your own 2014 Tax Refund Dates, use the IRS’s online refund tracker tool located here.

 

 

Happy Female Accountant Holding Income Tax Return

Why There is No 2014 Tax Refund Schedule

It’s the end of the year, the Holidays are up on us and the New Year is just around the corner.   It also means that for millions of Americans, tax-filing season is about to begin as well.  Starting in just a few weeks, taxpayers will start anticipating their IRS Refunds…because cash back from the government is a great way to start the year!

This is also prime season for commercial tax-preparation companies to start hooking their customers…

Get Your Refund Faster With Us!

They make all sorts of promises, and already some have published what they call the 2014 Tax Refund Schedule.  This supposedly shows when you’ll receive your IRS refund based on when you submit your tax forms.  It seems to suggest a regularity, a promise from the IRS that if you do your part and get your tax return in on time, they’ll guarantee and end date for when you get your Refund check.

Nope, that’s not the way it works these days.  Used to be, yes there was a Tax Refund Schedule.  You could pretty much gauge when you’d get your IRS Refund based on when you submitted your tax return.  But that was in the days before so much identity theft and tax fraud took place.

Why There is No Longer a Tax Refund Schedule

Now the IRS has a very thorough fraud-alert plan in place.  That means any number of things on your tax return can trigger a fraud alert, thereby causing it to be held up for further scrutiny.  And don’t believe that just because you yourself know that you have committed no fraud this won’t happen to you.  You never know what might slow down the processing of your tax return.  It could be a typo or a name change.

So What Does the IRS Promise?

Nothing!  They do the best they can and you really can’t do anything to speed up the process.  Now we actually have something better than the old generic one-size-fits-all 2014 Tax Refund Schedule.  It’s the IRS Refund Tracker.  You type in your Social Security Number and get personalized information about how far along your tax return has made it, and an idea of when to expect your IRS refund.  Check it out, it’s here on the IRS website.

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How an IRS Refund is Like Loaning Money to a Relative

It’s time everyone understood the true meaning of an IRS refund.  It’s not what you think it is, and it’s not really your friend.  The IRS refund is not your budgetary savior, and it’s not a gift from the IRS.  It’s basically something was taken from you for a while and then returned with no apology and more importantly, no interest.

An IRS Refund is a Loan You Never Agreed to Make

Access to your cash is important, especially if you don’t have a to of savings.  If you’re living hand to mouth, then not being able to access what little cash you have can really wreck your budget.  Just a few hundred dollars missed on your credit card bill month after month will mean finance charges, followed by the nightmarish spiral downward into debt.

Then why in the world would you lock up your cash with the IRS, without access to your own money until once year?  That’s essentially what you’re doing if your IRS refund is too large.

With the W4 you are telling your employer how much to withhold from your paycheck every two weeks.  If you don’t fill out the W4 correctly then too much is taken out.  Your paycheck is smaller.  The IRS gets that money and then when you file your federal tax refund you will get that money back in the form of an IRS refund.

Yay, the IRS refund.  Everyone rejoices like it’s the lottery.  But it’s really your money that you should have had all along, it’s been tied up and you’re just getting back what you should have had all along.  You essentially loaned the money to the IRS and they didn’t have to pay any interest!  This is how an IRS refund is like loaning money to a relative.  You don’t have that money until they pay it back, but you don’t get any interest.  What did you gain from the loan, financially?  Nothing.  In the case with loaning your relative money, maybe you gain from the fact that you helped out someone you love.  But the IRS?  Surely you don’t love the IRS enough to lend them money interest-free?

How to Keep Your Money and Slowly Become Richer

So don’t loan money to the IRS interest-free.  Make your refund as small as possible.  It’s that simple folks!  Get a fresh new W4 and fill it out correctly so you have as little withholding as possible.  Make your paycheck larger, pay your bills on time and in full and you won’t get finance charges, interest on your credit cards, or bounced checks from overdrawing your checking account.

It’s not winning the lottery but people who have financially secure do these types of little things all the time.  They’re wise about their money, in little batches.  It makes a difference, it really does.

Here’s where to get a copy of a new W4 form.  You can re-submit it to your employer at any time during the year to have your withholding adjusted to the correct amount.  Your IRS refund will be smaller but your paycheck will be larger.

Happy Female Accountant Holding Income Tax Return

Keeping Track of Your IRS Tax Refund

These days an IRS tax refund takes about 21 days.  If you file your taxes electronically and request direct deposit of your refund you’re already doing it the right way if turnaround time is important to you.

The Status of Your IRS Refund

How do you find out that status of your IRS tax refund?  There’s only one correct answer to this: from the IRS itself and from nobody else!  You don’t need an accountant to figure out where your refund is.  You don’t need a tax preparation office to do it, either.  You just need an internet connection and a PC, preferably your own.  That’s because you have to type in your personal information at the IRS website and you don’t want to risk doing that at the library on a public computer.  If you don’t have a computer then sure you have a friend who does, or you can also call the IRS refund hotline.

IRS Refund Hotline: (800) 829-1954

Average Turnaround Time of an IRS Refund

Well the IRS gives 21 days as the expected time to have to wait for a refund.  However some people get theirs faster and some much later than that.  For the delays, it’s anybody’s guess as to why some tax returns take longer than others.  All you can do is look at a list of common reasons why tax returns can take longer then see if any apply to you.

The IRS Tax Refund Tracker

You can also talk to the IRS if it makes you feel better but they will only be able to tell you what you already know from logging into their website and using their IRS refund tracker.  This will tell you exactly where your refund may be in the pipeline as it makes its way through the IRS system.  Of course it won’t tell you why your return got stuck any given point.  You’ll just have to be patient.

But Why is Your Refund So Large?

If you can’t be patient then perhaps you should look into your withholding and see whether maybe too much is being withheld from your paychecks.  Are you waiting on more than $2000 in your IRS tax refund?  That’s a little excessive and you can fill out a new W4 and submit it to your employer at any time: have less money taken out of each paycheck and you’ll have access to that money all year long: no waiting on your IRS tax refund!