American taxpayers looking to gain an income tax refund must follow the procedures as are provided by the IRS or the relevant state agency. The initial application for an income tax refund is made through a tax return. In regard to the federal income tax refund option, the IRS recommends that taxpayers pay close attention to the various expenses they incur over the course of the year in relation to the funds which are withheld from their checks.
In this way taxpayers can accurately determine the size of the income tax refund that is due to them. The IRS also recommends that the accuracy of the information submitted for this reason be verified in order to provide for the process to occur without delay.
The IRS assures American taxpayers that their income tax refund applications will be generally processed in a period of six weeks, at the most. If the documentation is submitted in an electronic filing, then the waiting period for a federal income tax refund is halved to three weeks.
A period of eight to twelve weeks is provided for an income tax refund that is requested through an amendment to a tax return. In the event that an income tax refund is received in an incorrect amount, then the IRS asks that taxpayers either wait until they have received an official statement of this, in the event of overpayment, or wait for two weeks before making a statement, in the event that the amount given is not sufficient. The IRS also provides for the possibility of a federal income tax refund check being misplaced or stolen.
Taxpayers may choose not to accept their income tax refund immediately, but instead to later use it to reduce their tax burden, as will be allowed for the following year. Taxpayers can also request that the IRS submit a federal income tax refund to them in one of two forms, according to their requirements: directly into a bank account or as a check mailed to the taxpayer.
In regards to the former option, it was recently established by the IRS that it would issue a federal income tax refund into three different bank accounts, as divided up into allotments of no less than one dollar. This option can be applied for through the application of Form 8888, “Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account,” with the exception being for taxpayers who have already filed an “Injured Spouse Allocation” Form 8379.
It is also possible to reduce the tax refund which may be due to an individual or group by more accurately meeting withholding requirements. The IRS recognizes that both employers and employees may be less interested in the federal income tax refund option than in accurately making their tax payments and providing for withholding requirements over the course of the year.
To this end, the IRS website includes a withholding calculator by which an individual or group’s financial obligations can be fully accounted for ahead of the time for applying for an income tax refund.