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According to a survey conducted by CreditKarma, about 44 percent of taxpayers expect that their tax refund will be their biggest paycheck of the year. This year, 46 percent of taxpayers are looking for a check that will be at least $1,000.
And with many taxpayers counting on that money, when their refund checks arrive is often important, but can be dependent on a host of factors.
According to the IRS, most refunds are issued in less than 21 calendar days if filed electronically. For those who mail in a paper return, the turnaround is slower – about six weeks.
However, there are a number of reasons that a refund could be delayed.
As noted by the IRS, people who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit can expect to experience a delay. Those refunds cannot legally be issued before the middle of February, so the agency said that money will likely hit taxpayer bank accounts by the first week of March. If the agency has further questions, there could be an extended delay.
If it is suspected that a return was affected by identity theft or fraud, that could also postpone refund reception. Experts have told FOX Business that filing early can help prevent the chances that your refund will be fraudulently claimed by a criminal.
Other reasons a refund may take longer than 21 days (or six weeks) to process include tax return errors, an incomplete return or if the return needs further review in general.
The IRS will contact taxpayers from whom it needs more information. For more details on the status of your refund, you can go to the IRS’ Where’s My Refund page.
The average refund last tax season was about $2,725, as the IRS doled out about 95.7 million checks. It processed about 130.7 million returns as of April.
As previously reported by FOX Business, most people said they planned to use their refund this year to pad their savings accounts, to pay off debts or to pay other spending obligations like bills, rent, groceries and other necessities.