First-Time Filer: What Happens While The IRS has My Return

February 05, 2016 : H&R Block

Filing a tax return is a process. Depending on the complexity of your return, it could take seven to 22 hours. So it is reasonable to be curious about what happens to your return after clicking “submit.”

For our purposes, we are only going to consider tax returns that are electronically filed (e-filed). About 85% of individual returns are filed that way, so it makes sense.

If you file with H&R Block online or tax software your return goes through a basic accuracy check before being sent to the IRS. After the scan, your return is transmitted from H&R Block servers to IRS servers.

The IRS will check the data in the return for mathematical errors. It will verify filing statuses, exemptions and deductions and ensure you are legally entitled to any credits claimed on the return. It will also look for any indicators of tax fraud.

If there is a problem with your return, or if it is randomly selected for audit, the IRS will follow up by mail. You will not receive an unsolicited email or phone call informing you of a problem and asking for personal information. That is a scam and should be reported to the IRS. If you ever have questions about a communication from the IRS, you can call them to verify it is accurate.

If there are no problems with your return, it will be posted to the IRS Individual Master File (IMF). If you are due a refund, the process to issue a check or electronic direct deposit will begin.

If you chose to pay for your tax preparation fees with your refund (Refund Anticipation Check), the IRS will send the funds to BofI Federal Bank. There, the amount owed to H&R Block will be deducted from your refund and the remaining funds will be direct deposited to your Emerald Card or bank account, whichever you chose. This process is a bank-to-bank transfer, which means it can take 3-5 days before the funds are available in your account.

You can check “Where’s My Refund?“on the status of your refund. Please note: most refunds are received within 21 days of when the return was accepted.

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