The average check amount is. In most cases, the refund amounts are just what the filers expect. Occasionally, a tax refund is wrong.

tax refund In some cases, it’s less than what was figured on the Every now and thence, it’s more. Regardless of whether the refund discrepancy goes against you or favors you, some steps can be taken to resolve the matter. Consequently, that way, even if you or the tax collector aren’t necessarily satisfied with the eventual amount, you’ll at least understand the mathematical misinterpretation.

Don’t panic.

There’s usually a logical explanation for why you and the IRS came up with different numbers. Notice, the IRS will send you a written explanation for the unexpected amount. The only problem is that the explanation doesn’t always accompany the check. Eventually, such coordination of cash and comment is particularly difficult with directly deposited refunds, that have a lot of chances to show up unexplained in your account first.

You can always call the IRS if you get a refund check and have questions about the amount, since the letter and check or direct deposit usually don’t arrive simultaneously. The main IRS tollfree number is for the hearing impaired. For example, you also can call or visit your local Taxpayer Assistance Center. Anyway, the IRS website has an interactive locator page to help you find the nearest one.

< >Explanation en route.

Whenever according to experienced tax pros, the best time to call is about a hour before the IRS office is scheduled to close.

Mornings usually are very busy, and during taxfiling season, you’ll probably be in for a long wait on hold at any day time. You also have to decide what to do with the more, or less, money you received, as you’re waiting for the explanation letter to clear up the refund issue.

It’s usually not a problem to cash it, especially if it’s a smaller difference, says Bob Scharin, senior tax analyst for the Tax Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. Once you and the IRS resolve the matter in your favor, in fact, Therefore if the check is less than you expected and it turns out that you were correct, the agency will make up the difference and send you another check for the balance due.

< >Why your refund might be an unexpected amount.

If, however, the difference is larger or your refund is a great deal more than you believe you should have received, it’s generally a good idea to hold off cashing the check or spending the money until the issue is resolved.

It’s time to find out what happened, once you get the official word on why your refund isn’t what you had expected.

In each of these categories, the IRS will indicate what you entered and what the agency came up with. The document should also note how much tax you paid and any over or underpayment. Additional charges or credits, such as interest and penalties, also are taken into account.

Get out your return and try to reconcile it that way, says Scharin.

Call that person for help in clearing up the matter, Therefore in case you used a tax professional to file your return. In many cases, the notice will include a phone number. On top of that, scharin says a personal inquiry directly to the IRS could also help.

< >I would like to ask you a question. Cash or hold the check?

You might want to call before sending documentation, he says. You might find in speaking with a person, any confusion is cleared up, for good or otherwise. At least you’ll know exactly what the agency needs from you to resolve the issue. Even tax software doesn’t make you immune to addition and subtraction issues.

Scharin recalls one individual who did his taxes on a computer and forgot to press ‘recompute.


He didn’t finish the process, even though he entered in everything correctly. You also might have claimed something that, on the basis of your income, you’re not entitled to, says Scharin. Income phaseouts, depending on your adjusted gross income, affect a few credits, he says.

Estimated tax payments are a common culprit in divergent refund amounts. Now look, the filer and IRS come up with a difference on tax amount paid, tax amount on the return is calculated correctly. It is other numbers that cause problems are those 9 Social Security digits. Problems with your tax return and refund appear, when any of those are wrong.

Refund issues also crop up when names of dependents don’t match Social Security numbers.

Husbands and wives have different names, as do their children. Your tax refund also might be a direct path to other money you owe.

< > Difference Documentation.

The government can go through your federal refund to collect if you owe money to other government agencies. The most common cases involve courtordered financial payments associated with a former marriage or unpaid student loans. Anyways, the IRS will even double check whether it gets prior federal tax debts that you didn’t clear.

Even taxpayers who have a payment arrangement in place with the IRS could encounter refund issues.

The agreement with the IRS says it can apply any refund you have against what you owe. In a worst case scenario, you might not even get a refund.

You’ll get a letter telling you to refile, says Scharin. You also should refile your return and refigure your tax bill and any refund if you find a mistake that the IRS overlooked in processing. You’ll face penalties and interest on the amount you didn’t properly pay on time, if the IRS does eventually notice the error.

In these cases, file an amended return, Form 1040X, and send the original, incorrect refund check back to the agency.

Use it to pay your correct tax due, if the money was directly deposited. The IRS says to include a letter of explanation with the returned check or corrected payment amount, since you cannot ‘e file’ Form 1040X. The agency will issue you a refund for the proper amount when it processes your amended return.

On the back where you normally would endorse it, write void, when sending back an actual check. Send the check and your letter detailing why you’re sending back the check. Whenever mailing address and a daytime telephone number in case an agent needs to follow up with you, Be sure to include your name, cial Security number. There’s some more info about it on this site. You’ll find that location on the check front, Send the check back to the issuing center. Make a check copy and your letter for your files, before you drop it in the mail. It’s a good idea to send the material with a return receipt for additional verification for your records.

You also can call the IRS’ tollfree number and ask to speak to taxpayer accounts about steps to take, especially with regard to ‘directdeposit’ refund discrepancies.

By making sure you get your payment and refund records straight, you’ll know you won’t have to worry about unexpectedly hearing from the IRS in the future, It’s no fun to return atax refund.

< >Common refund discrepancy causes.

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By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate’s terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate’s privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate’s privacy practices. Known in fact, those hours are. Unless otherwise noted, customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 to 7 local time. Normally, residents of Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time. Puerto Rico phone lines are open 8 to 8 local time. Explanation en route. Why your refund might be an unexpected amount. And now here is the question. Cash or hold the check, is that the case? Difference Documentation. < >Other debts collected from refunds. Common refund discrepancy causes. Other debts collected from refunds. Self correcting’ your mistakes. < >Self correcting’ your mistakes.

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