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What to Expect for Federal Refunds for the 2013 Filing Season

December 20, 2012

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It is important to set your customers’ expectations for when the IRS will be sending refunds during the upcoming 2013 Filing Season and beyond.

Due to the increase in fraud and identity theft, the IRS is increasing their fraud filters during the processing of all individual returns. This means that a larger number of returns will be reviewed therefore, processing will take longer and the refund will be sent out later for these returns.

The IRS messaging for refunds for the upcoming filing season will be that refunds will be sent to the taxpayer within 21 days from the time the return has been accepted. This message will be the same on the IRS website, “Where’s My Refund?” page, and when a taxpayer calls the IRS help desk.

The refund cycle chart has been eliminated and replaced with an IRS Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community publication.

You will also notice the following changes to the “Where’s My Refund?” tool for the upcoming filing season:

  • The expected date of when the refund will be sent will no longer be given when the return begins to be processed.

  • The refund status will be presented by way of a status bar as follows:

    • Return Received - From the time the return is received until the refund has been approved the message will be that the return is being processed and that the refund will be sent in less than 21 days.

    • Refund Approved – A date the refund is scheduled to be sent to the bank will be given.

    • Refund Sent – The date the refund was sent.

  • The taxpayer will be able to see the status of their return within 24 hours after their return has been accepted.

The IRS has also begun sending out an additional message to taxpayers that they should not be making major purchases during the holiday season solely on the expectation of when they will receive their refund before the bills arrive.

Lastly, the IRS is reminding preparers that they must follow the advertising standards in Publication 3112 (IRS E-File Application and Participation) and Publication 1345 (Handbook for Authorized E-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns) regarding faster refunds.

To learn more see the following:

Training Video

TY 2013 Federal Tax Law Updates

Click on the button below to view a video presentation of the Federal Tax Law Updates that affect TY 2013.

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