First-Time Filer: What Happens While The IRS has My Return
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 Axos 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.
If you owe tax debt for another tax year, your refund can be taken to pay the tax debt. Learn more about the Treasury Offset Program from H&R Block.
Get the facts about IRS authorizations, such as Form 2848, Power of Attorney. Read the IRS definition and get more insight from the experts at H&R Block.
Need advice about an IRS audit? Get tips about navigating IRS examinations at H&R Block.
Get the facts about what happens when you owe the IRS and the payment options you may qualify for when you owe and can't pay.