If we do the tax return process electronically, the IRS will notify us once it has been received and accepted. However, people tend to confuse this concept, this is why the question of what it means when our tax return is accepted arises. It does not mean that the IRS will finish our file.
It only means that the obvious problems which is that the tax return is rejected has been overcome. However, the agency still has to finalize the process with our documents for us to receive the return.
Once we receive notification from the IRS, they have accepted our tax return and will process it.
Tax Return Acceptance and Rejection
If the IRS rejects a return application, they will give us an explanation as to what the problem is with our application. Usually, these have to do with misspelling the social security number or our name or omitting something on the form that is required. We will be asked to resubmit our tax return with the problem resolved in these cases.
Problems can sometimes be more complex, especially if our dependent’s Social Security number is flagged. It is because the dependent has been claimed by someone else, and this can be considered an honest mistake or an attempt at fraud.
If we cannot provide support on the duplicate number that helps resolve our return, the IRS will request a hard-copy return, or we will have to fill it out online.
If there are no furthe problems with our application, the IRS will consider it accepted, and we will not have to do anything additional for our tax return.
What happens if it is accepted and not processed?
Once the IRS accepts our return, they will begin the process of further analysis. At this point, our tax return may be accepted but not processed due to different factors such as:
- We made incorrect calculations.
- The document is not legible.
- We put the information on the wrong line.
- Not identifying the negative amounts properly.
- We made more than one claim.
- An incorrect number of exceptions.
- We forgot to attach a W-2 or check.
The IRS will also verify and compare the different applications to detect identity theft or fraud. If we file online, the system can catch errors quickly.
Paper returns will take longer. In some cases, the IRS may correct some errors or will notify us if the agency requires more information.
What are the times for IRS tax returns?
Normally these refunds are sent out on a schedule, and it varies depending on the refund method we choose when we file the application and the number of credits we are claiming. For this, we need to look at the following:
- Online application and direct deposit: 1 to 3 weeks.
- Online application and check: 1 month.
- Use of mail and direct deposit: 3 weeks.
- Using of mail and check: 2 months.
We will normally meet these deadlines if everything is correct and our application has no errors. This way, there will not be any delay so that it can be processed quickly, but if there are errors, the process could take longer.
Is it faster to do it electronically or by mail?
In most cases, it will be faster to file online, as we saw above. The IRS will receive these returns much faster than those sent by mail, so the time between filing the return and when we will receive the return will be shorter.
In addition, it will also be better to do the whole process through a direct deposit process because if we do it by check, it will take longer.
We must also consider that if we are claiming Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, our refund may take longer than expected. According to the IRS, they will send these refunds before the middle of February to arrive in March.
On the other hand, filing earlier will have many advantages, such as more time to process. By not being during tax season, we will be able to get a refund sooner.
What happens if you miss the deadline?
Ideally, we should not miss the deadline provided by the IRS each year for taxes. If we file for a refund after the deadline, we will have to pay fees and other penalties.
If we need more time, we can request an extension from the IRS, although this extension will not give us more time to pay our taxes. It will only give us more time to file our refund request.
For this reason, if we owe money, our application should always be made at the tax times the IRS requires. The maximum extension contemplated for the tax year 2021 will be until October 17, 2022.
Can our refund be followed up?
If we do the return process electronically, we can track our return 24 hours after the IRS has accepted the return. On the other hand, if we file by mail, we will have to wait four weeks, and the IRS will not send any notice of acceptance for paper applications.
We can use the IRS tool Where’s My Refund to do the tracking. This tool is updated once every 24 hours, so there is no need to check it frequently. To use the tool, we will need to use our Social Security number and fill in the status and the amount we think we will receive.
We will also be able to follow up from the IRS2Go app, which is available for Android and iOS. It will help us to know the status of our tax returns quickly. In addition, we can follow up by visiting an IRS office directly or by calling the agency.
However, in the latter case, we will have to wait 21 days after we have made the application electronically or six weeks if it has been on paper.
For years I have studied American finance regulations. All the information in this blog is sourced from official or contrasted sources from reliable sites.
Salesforce Certified SALES & SERVICE Cloud Consultant in February 2020, Salesforce Certified Administrator (ADM-201), and Master degree in “Business Analytics & Big Data Strategy” with more than 13 years of experience in IT consulting.