Tax Refunds Delayed By IRS: How Long Will Tax Refund Checks Take? Here’s The Bad News

Wondering when your tax refund check will arrive? The IRS is reportedly delaying tax refunds during the 2015 tax season, prompting taxpayers to check the “Where’s my refund?” section of the government agency’s website only to find out that their refund will be delayed by a week or longer.

ABC News reports that not only will refunds be slower than in past years, anyone with tax-related questions will experience a “slower and less helpful IRS” with word that fewer than half of taxpayers trying to call in will actually reach an agent.

Why the delay? Budget cuts within the IRS will cause a delay in your refund check or direct deposit this year. The Washington Post states that the budget cuts could lead the agency to shut down for a few days, forcing government employees to have unpaid time off and making cuts to taxpayer services.

While refund delays and poor customer service may be upsetting to most taxpayers, there are some who may be breathing a sigh of relief, mainly those who are trying to avoid a tax audit. ABC News states that there will be less IRS enforcement officers this year, leading to as many as 46,000 fewer audits.

ABC obtained a letter sent to IRS employees on January 13 by the agency’s commissioner, John Koskinen, that outlines how the budget cuts will affect the 2015 tax filing season. The letter details the reasons behind the tax refund delays, reduced audits, expected customer service issues, staff reduction, and an upcoming hiring freeze.

“I am following up with you to share some important new details about what the 2015 budget cuts will mean for you and your colleagues as well as the nation’s taxpayers… new taxpayer protections against identity theft will be delayed… at least 46,000 fewer individual and business audit closures…delays in refunds for some taxpayers. People who file paper tax returns could wait an extra week or possibly longer to see their refund… taxpayer service diminished further over the phone and in person… as a result of the hiring freeze, we will lose about 1,800 enforcement personnel through attrition during FY 2015.”

The IRS will begin processing refunds at the end of January, a process that is always faster if you e-file. Tax refunds are normally issued within approximately 21 days if you file electronically, but due to budget cuts, expect to wait a bit longer. Check the status of your refund within 24 hours after your e-filed tax return is received by the IRS or four weeks after your tax forms are mailed in.

[Image: Daily Finance]

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