When Will You Receive Your Tax Refund in 2020?

There are several factors that affect when you receive your tax refund in 2020 for the 2019 tax year. The biggest factors are:

• If you are owed a tax refund;

• When you file your tax return/Having all your documents ready;

  • If you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC);
  • If you owe a tax debt or other debt that has resulted in your tax refund being offset; and
  • If you file by mail rather than e-filing.

Depending on how these factors affect your individual tax situation will greatly affect when you receive your tax refund. After you have submitted your tax return, you can check your refund status on the IRS website at Check My Refund Status.

Are You Owed a Tax Refund?

Many taxpayers, who did not update their W-4 with their employer, may find that they either owe taxes for 2019 tax year or that their refund is not as large as expected. This is because the IRS updated the tax tables on the back end in accordance with the new tax law that took effect in 2018. Most taxpayers do not realize when the amount of taxes taken out of their pay was reduced slightly. However, when it comes to getting a refund, a small amount can make a huge difference.

Example. John normally receives $500 every week from his employer. Starting last year, he noticed he was getting $10 more a week or $510.

With no explanation, one can easily understand why John would not think much of an extra $10 a week. Maybe he thought it was a raise or some other tax benefit. It would be easy to not realize how this could affect your 2019 tax refund that John would receive in 2020. However $10 a week adds up to $520 for the year. Without considering other tax changes affecting John’s situation, this could easily reduce his tax refund by $520, because he paid $520 less in taxes last year.

When Will You File Your Tax Return?

The earlier you file your tax return, the earlier you will receive your refund. The IRS starts accepting returns for the 2019 tax year on January 20, 2020. Most tax documents have to be mailed out by January 31, 2020. However, if you are certain you have received all of your tax documents, you do not have to wait. As soon as you have received all of your tax documents, you can schedule an appointment with a tax professional to complete your tax return. This way, you will be one of the first in line to have your tax return submitted on January 20, 2020.

It is important you have all of your tax documents first, before you file. One of the most common reasons taxpayers need to amend their tax returns is because they forgot a tax document like a W-2. Having all your tax documents ready ensures your tax return will be filed correctly the first time.

Are You are Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)?

If you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), your tax refund will be delayed. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, passed to help reduce tax fraud, does not allow the IRS to process tax refunds for taxpayers receiving either of these two tax credits until mid-February. Even if you file before mid-February, most taxpayers receiving either EITC or ACTC will not see an update to their refund status until several days after February 15th. After your tax return has been submitted, you can check your refund status on the IRS website at Check My Refund Status.

Is Your Tax Refund Subject to an Offset / Garnishment?

If your tax refund is subject to a tax offset or garnishment, it can delay your tax refund or even reduce it to $0. Only federal and state government agencies are allowed to offset (garnish) your tax refund. The biggest reasons a tax refund offset occurs are because of unpaid:

  • Federal income tax payments;
  • Child support payments;
  • Student loan payments; or
  • State debts.

Any documents you receive regarding your future tax refunds being offset or garnished are important to keep, so you will be able to refer back to them at tax time. This will help you understand why your tax refund was offset. Even if your tax refund is reduced to $0, it is still extremely important to file your tax return to avoid penalties and fees.

Are You E-Filing or Mailing in Your Tax Return?

The IRS states that the majority of tax returns with refunds are processed within 21 days. However, this only applies if you e-file. If you mail in a paper tax return, it can take much longer. Most tax returns mailed in will take at least six weeks to be processed, if not longer.

The Bottom Line

When you will receive your tax refund in 2020 for your 2019 tax return greatly depends on several factors, such as, if you are owed a tax refund, when you file; if you are receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC); if your refund is subject to an offset or being garnished; or if you are filing by mail or e-filing. The quickest way to get your refund is to e-file and request your refund payment be direct deposited into your bank account.

To ensure your tax return is filed correctly the first time and not delayed unnecessarily make sure you have all your tax documents ready and schedule an appointment today with the accounting and tax preparation professionals at Gudorf Tax Group. They will make sure you receive your tax refund as quick as possible.