The IRS notifies the Electronic Return Originator (ERO) when the return is accepted, usually within 15 minutes or less but typically not more than 48 hours. If the return was not accepted, the IRS notifies the ERO of the reasons for rejection. If it has been more than three weeks since the IRS accepted the return and your taxpayer has not received their refund, go to Where's My Refund? on the IRS website to query the refund status.
Taxpayers can also call the IRS Refund Hotline at 1.800.829.1954 for automated information about the status of their refund.
Taxpayer refunds may be reduced for several reasons other than a recalculation of the return.
- The IRS may apply a taxpayer's refund to cover overdue taxes and will notify the taxpayer when this occurs.
- The Financial Management Service (FMS) offsets refunds through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) to cover past due child support, federal agency non-tax debts such as student loans, and state income tax obligations. FMS sends the taxpayer an offset notice if it applies the refund or part of the refund to non-tax debts.
If a taxpayer has questions about the offset, they can contact the agency identified in the notice. They may also call the TOP at 1.800.304.3107, if they have additional questions. More information can be gleaned from the FMS website here.
If Your Client Owes Tax
If the return has a balance due, the taxpayer must pay the amount owed by the prescribed due date. If they paid by electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) or by credit card, no voucher is needed. To use a credit card or debit card to pay by phone or Internet, taxpayers may visit any of the following sites:
- Pay1040.com or call 1.888.729.1040
- PayUSAtax.com or call 1.844.729.8298
- OfficialPayments.com or call 1.888.872.9829
The service providers will charge a convenience fee based on the amount of taxes being paid. The fees and the type of credit or debit cards accepted may vary between providers. To learn more about credit and debit card payment options visit the IRS website here.
If the taxpayer is not paying electronically, Form 1040-V must be mailed with a check or money order for the amount due. To determine the address to mail the payment to, see page 2 of Form 1040-V.
If the IRS does not receive payment for the amount of tax due by the prescribed due date, the taxpayer will receive a notice requesting full payment of the amount due, plus penalties and interest. If the taxpayer is unable to pay the amount due in full, Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request may be filed to request an installment agreement arrangement. Form 9465 can also be filed electronically with the taxpayer's return. To apply for a payment plan with the IRS online, click here.
Electronic Funds Withdrawal Payments
Your client may call 1.888.353.4537, to inquire about the status of an electronic funds withdrawal payment. If there is a change to the bank account information included on the return, they should call this number to cancel a scheduled payment. They should have available the social security number of the first person listed on the tax return, the payment amount, and the bank account number. Cancellation requests must be received no later than 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, two business days prior to the scheduled payment date.
If You Need to Correct a Return That Has Already Been Accepted
You should file Form 1040X, Amended tax return, for the year you need to correct. Form 1040X cannot be electronically filed and must be mailed to the IRS Submission Processing Center that processes amended returns for the taxpayer's state. Addresses can be found in the 1040X Instructions or by calling 1.800.829.1040.