People often rely on their tax refund to receive a lump sum of money that can be used for various purposes, such as paying off debts, covering essential expenses, saving for future goals, or making significant purchases. Unfortunately, tax refunds are sometimes withheld, or they take a long time to be processed. A competent Louisiana tax resolution specialist can help you resolve the issue so you can receive your refund as soon as possible.
Ask a Louisiana Tax Resolution Specialist: How Can I Track My Tax Refund Status?
There are two simple ways to check on your tax refund. Before you begin, find your Social Security number, and make sure you know how you filed your taxes and the exact amount you’re expecting back. Then, go online and use either the IRS Where’s My Refund tool or the IRS2Go mobile app. These tools are very quick and show you what’s happening with your refund. They get updated every day.
If you’d rather speak to someone, you can give the IRS a call, but it’s important to remember that the wait times can be long. Fortunately, there is an automated phone system that guides you through the process. Just follow the instructions they give you when you make the call. No matter which option you pick, make sure to have all your info ready to prevent delays.
Why Is My Refund Delayed?
Usually, your tax refund is processed within 21 days, but there are a few common reasons for delays. One could be that there are errors or mistakes in your tax return. They might need to be corrected before your refund can be processed. Another possibility is that the IRS is facing a high number of tax returns to process, especially during the busy tax season. This can cause delays in their overall processing timeline.
Additionally, if you claimed certain tax credits or deductions, the IRS might need extra time to verify the information you provided. Lastly, if you chose to receive your refund through a paper check, it might take longer to reach you through traditional mail. Don’t hesitate to contact to a tax professional if you’re worried about receiving your refund. They can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.
What About My State Tax Refund?
In response to a rise in tax fraud cases, the Louisiana Department of Revenue has introduced stronger security measures to safeguard Louisiana taxpayers. These precautions will extend the time needed to process refunds, so there’s no need to worry if your tax refund is taking longer than usual. For electronically filed returns, the expected refund processing period is about 4 weeks, while paper returns may require up to 8 weeks.
If you opted for direct deposit, the funds should arrive within a week after processing. To track your refund status, you have a few options: visit “Where’s My Refund?” on the LDR website, send an email inquiry for Individual Refund Status, or give the LDR a call.
Why Won’t I Receive My Refund?
One possible reason why your tax refund hasn’t arrived is that the government has taken it to cover certain debts you owe. The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS), which handles tax refunds, has the authority to withhold some or all of your refund for this purpose, and this is called an “offset.”
There are six specific reasons why BFS could use your refund to pay off debts, which include money owed to government agencies or courts. If you think this might be happening to you, it’s important to understand these reasons and work with a Louisiana tax resolution expert to resolve the issue and prevent it from recurring.
You Have Federal Tax Debt
If you have unpaid federal income taxes, your tax refund could be used to settle the owed amount. If any funds remain after this offset, they will be refunded to you based on your tax return’s preferences, usually either through direct deposit or a check. The IRS will also send you a notice explaining why they withheld the money. You can reach out to them for clarification if you think that there has been a mistake.
You Have Louisiana State Tax Debt
Your tax refund can also be used to settle any outstanding state income taxes you owe. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to start by contacting the IRS for guidance on your available choices.
After obtaining the relevant information from them, you should then get in touch with your state’s tax authority. Just be aware that navigating this process might involve some back and forth. At Geaux, we can help you by negotiating with the IRS on your behalf.
You Defaulted on a Student Loan
The government has the authority to take your tax refund to cover your student loan amount, unless you’re eligible for and have applied for loan forgiveness. Before this happens, the Treasury Department is required to notify you in advance about their intentions and provide an opportunity for you to contest the claim or settle the debt before they withhold your refund.
It’s also important to note that both the U.S. Department of Education and the guaranty agency holding your loan can instruct your employer to deduct up to 15% of your disposable income until your loan is fully repaid. This means that if you’ve defaulted on your student loans, it’s important to get professional help as soon as possible to avoid serious consequences.
You Received Too Much in Unemployment Compensation
If the IRS believes that you received more unemployment compensation than you were entitled to, possibly due to fraud or incorrect reporting of earnings, they can request the U.S. Treasury to use your tax refund to cover the disputed amount. This means that the refund you were expecting might be used to settle this issue.
You Haven’t Paid Enough Child Support
When a parent falls behind on court-ordered child support payments, the state’s child-support agency has the authority to ask the Treasury Department to use their tax refund to settle the overdue payments. If you’re in this situation, you should receive a notice before the offset happens. This notice will detail the owed amount, how the offset procedure functions, and how you can dispute the debt if needed.
After the refund has been withheld, you should also get a notice from the BFS indicating the amount taken from your refund. If you find yourself in this scenario, it’s important to contact your state’s child support agency. They can provide you with the necessary steps to address the situation. It’s also worth noting that your tax refund can be offset to cover overdue spousal support that’s part of a child support agreement.
How Can Tax Refund Seizure Be Prevented?
You can take steps such as ensuring accurate and timely filing of tax returns, promptly addressing any outstanding debts, communicating with the IRS and other agencies to arrange repayment plans, and staying informed about your financial obligations. Seeking professional advice can help you take proactive measures to avoid difficult situations and understand your rights in cases of refund offsets.
Tax refunds could be delayed due to factors like increased security measures, high processing volumes, verification of tax credits or deductions, or addressing errors in tax returns. To avoid tax problems, it’s important to communicate effectively with the IRS. Send us a message at Geaux Tax Resolution
to learn more about our services and schedule your first consultation with our Louisiana tax resolution specialists.