Financial Focus: Where’s My (Tax Refund) Check?

anthony_rivieccioFinancial Focus: Waiting On Your Tax Refund?

by Anthony Rivieccio, MBA


Awaiting your tax refund?

Well, let me speak for all tax preparers and tax advisors. We are waiting for you to get it, too!

There can be nothing more joyous it seems than waiting on that promised tax refund check or electronic deposit within two weeks. And for tax preparers, there is nothing more grueling or grating than hearing clients call to scream, “where’s my check?”

We do not know, either!

But let see if we kill apply some truth and exterminate some if the bad myths during this ” wonderful time of the year” Let’s take the bad first, then the good

If you have not received your money and it in over two weeks, it is probably due to one of the following reasons:
1) An IRS backlog
2) Calculation/Math error
3) Claim question
4) Bad e-file transmission
5) The IRS is still processing your Form 1040


An IRS backlog is something the Government is getting better at advertising, but sadly after the fact, not before. There published ” 2 week” turnaround, especially during the heart of tax season, can very easily turn slowly as the IRS e-file pipes gets clogged with tax preparers submitting at the same time. At times, three weeks is the norm.

Math error/Claim issue occurs when the math is wrong. A claim question arises when the IRS makes an additional inquiry about your claim. Either can delay your refund two to four weeks.  The math error  could be your tax preparer’s fault. The claim question has nothing to do with your preparer, it has to do with IRS questions on your claims. You have a right to claim deductions and the IRS has the right to ask questions and request additional (verifiable) information.

Bad e-file transmission. It does happen. In our firm, maybe two per cent of the time. Even in the best of circumstances,  98 out of 100 files sent by mail make to the IRS. But unlike snail mail, digital e-files do not get lost, they get rejected by the electronic system. That should trigger a rejection email notification, which your tax preparer should have received.

Which leads me to Reason #5, why is the IRS still processing your Form 1040 return.

But you want answers now? Oh, I can hear the ringing in my ears, “Mr Taxman, where’s my check?”

The IRS says, just go to their website and take 5 minutes and they will try to update you as quickly as possible. Remember to have your 1040 handy as they will just ask you three key identification questions and give you an update right then and there. Go to and look for “Where’s My Refund” on the IRS home page.

You should refer to the above-mentioned reasons while reading any explanations.

What! You don’t want to do this yourself. Of course, you can call the person who prepared your taxes but, guess what, that person doesn’t have a direct line to the IRS, either.

Sadly, normal waiting times at IRS phone lines are about onehour minimum and the best advice I can give you is to call 18008291040, first thing in the morning, before 9AM or call after 5PM. The wait time could go down as much 40%.

Last piece of advice: I believe there are congressional elections coming up. So, if you want or are looking for a speedier IRS tax refund system, tell it to Congress or elect a new Member of Congress who will be more responsive.


Anthony Rivieccio is the founder & the CEO of The Financial Advisors Group, celebrating their 20th year as a fee only financial planning firm specializing in solving one’s financial problems. Anthony, a recognized financial expert since 1986, has been featured by many national and local media including: Klipingers Personal Finance, The New York Post, News12 The Bronx, Bloomberg News Radio, Bronxnet Channel 67 TV, The Norwood News, The West Side Manhattan Gazette, Labor Press Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, WINS 1010 Radio, The Bronx News and The Bronx Chronicle.

For financial assistance or a FREE COPY of a 2015 Income Tax Guide, Anthony can be reached at (347) 575 5045 .

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