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With the average refund totaling around $3,000, you probably can’t wait for yours to show up.  Most families rely on their refund to build their savings, pay off debt or cover day-to-day expenses.  Fortunately, the IRS expects to issue most refunds within 21 days if you e-file and opt for direct deposit.  However, there are several reasons why your tax refund is delayed.

You made a mistake on your return

When you do your taxes, it’s important that you provide accurate information.  Making even a simple mistake can delay your tax refund.  The best way to minimize errors on your return is to use tax software like  The program will guide you step-by-step, asking simple questions about your income, expenses and itemized deductions.  All you have to do is enter the information exactly as it appears on your tax documents, and they’ll handle the forms and math.  Always double-check your entries to ensure you entered the correct information in the appropriate boxes and didn’t forget anything.

You owe money

Although your return may say that you’re entitled to a refund, the IRS has the authority to keep some or all your refund to pay certain debts.  They can seize your refund for things like past-due federal taxes, state taxes, child support and federal student loan debt.  If there is any money remaining after paying your debt, you’ll receive the balance via direct deposit or a check in the mail.  You’ll receive an IRS notice if your refund has been seized for federal taxes.  All other offsets will be handled by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS).

The direct deposit information you entered was incorrect

Returning ezTaxReturn customers can have their direct deposit information imported from last year’s return.  If you recently switched banks, you must update your bank account and routing numbers to ensure your refund goes to the correct place.  The easiest way to find your numbers is to look at the bottom of your personal check.  The 9-digit number on the left is your routing number.  Immediately next to it is your account number.  If you miss a digit and the IRS is unable to deposit your refund, they may issue a paper check to the address listed on your return instead.  In the event that your refund is deposited into someone else’s account, you’ll need to work with your bank to get your money back.

You mailed your return

When you file a paper return, it always takes longer to get your refund.  And now the wait time has increased due the IRS backlog.  You may find yourself waiting 6 months or more for your return to be processed. The best way to avoid tax refund delays is to e-file online and set up direct deposit.  In most cases, you’ll get your tax refund within 21 days.  File now at  It’s fast, ez and stress-free. 

Hacienda sospecha de usurpación de identidad o fraude

If the IRS suspects that your identity has been stolen and used to file a fraudulent return, they won’t issue the refund until they can confirm it’s really you.  You’ll most likely receive a 5071C or 6331C letter providing instructions on how to verify your identity.  Filers have the option of calling the number provided in the letter or using the Identity Verification Service on the IRS website.