This article was last updated on February 22
The IRS has now started processing and releasing the majority of tax refund payments following delays due to the PATH act. On various articles published on this site it has been good to see a lot of commentary from people now seeing their tax refunds being directly deposited to their bank accounts. In a lot of cases this has been ahead of schedule.
But there are still a lot of folks seeing delays in getting their refund payment despite the Where is My Refund (WMR) showing that the return has been processed – reflected as 2 bars in the status tracker. But by this point the issue is not due to the IRS (which has completed processing) and more likely with the financial institution and their processing time. Keep in mind there are a lot of things can go wrong during the transition from the IRS to you. This includes:
1. Wrong account information provided in your return (so always double check your return). This will result in the bank rejecting the IRS deposit, which then means refund is returned and unless you notify the IRS they will then proceed to send you a paper check. Which could delay your refund payment reaching you by several weeks.
2. Banks can deposit your refund in the wrong account (that happened to me on a regular deposit) and I had someone else monies in my account one morning. I contacted the credit union and they fixed it immediately on both occasions. On that occasion I had to wait until the next morning; they had to check their ledgers (credit/debits) balance sheet to see where they were off…to find the mix up.
3. Your name is not listed on the account (which must match name on refund) or it will be rejected. You can fix this before the banks send it back to the Treasury by calling them and notifying them you are expecting a refund; they will allow you to come to the bank and add the name to the account; or put it in the right account by your NAME instead of the ACCOUNT number.
4. Generally most banks don’t clear deposited refunds over the weekend of public holidays. Some do, but don’t expect this in all cases. So if you don’t get your refund by a Friday, you may need to wait till the next business day.
I had a PATH act message that appeared Jan 27th I filed on the 26th. It stayed there until Feb. 15th when it was replaced by a generic message of “we have received your return and are processing it” no tax topic no bars etc. Then the big update on Feb. 18th I checked WMR on irs.gov and had “refund approved” with 2 orange bars and a DDD of Feb 23rd. It also directed me to call if I didn’t receive my funds by Feb. 27th. Remember guys that the 20th of Feb is a holiday (Presidents day) so banks are closed. Your deposit might be held an extra day or two because of this.
5. Non-banking financial institutions like Bank Cards/Pre-Paid/HRB Loans all have varying processing schedules and fees. The best bet is to contact these type of companies directly to get an idea of their processing cycles.
Reader feedback on their banks processing times for refund payments
Based on the thousands of comments I see across various articles, here are some that talk about the speed of processing refunds at their respective financial institution. Please use this as a guideline and call your institution directly to get specific details related to your account.
- Etrade bank – make available the funds right away. I have the 22nd as well and the holiday won’t hold mine up. I had [J.P. Morgan] Chase years ago and they where slow and put a hold on it for three days. Some banks hold funds for anything over $1,000
- You may actually receive it earlier especially if your bank has the days earlier option. I bank through American Express and I’m supposed to get it 2 days earlier. Also check your banking options when it comes to direct deposits you may be able to get it up to 5days early
- SBBT which is the bank TurboTax uses to direct deposit your refund if you have fees taken out, is no help either! UGH..I’ve filed with them for years and never had an issue and it didn’t matter what day it was, they still sent my DD to my bank but not this year apparently. To contact SBBT by phone, you can call the following number for Live Taxpayer Support: 1-800-901-6663
- I did my return through Tax Act, they use Republican bank. I just got off the phone with the bank they use. I was told the IRS has confirmed my deposit amount with them. That even though Monday is a holiday..they are working till 8pm tonight [Friday] and mandated by the IRS to work Monday to release refunds to bank accounts once your fee has been taken. They do not hold your funds either.
- Increasingly, the tax refund is being loaded onto a prepaid debit card, which provides unbanked taxpayers with an opportunity to establish a banking relationship by having their paychecks or government benefits deposited directly to the debit card account.