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  • Get your tax refund faster, easier and safer with these tips

    According to the Internal Revenue Service and the Kansas Department of Revenue, more taxpayers are receiving their refunds faster, easier and safer by using e-file and direct deposit. Here are some things you should know.

    Federal Guidelines for Income Tax Refunds

    The IRS issues most refunds in 21 days or less. To get your refund quickly:

    • File electronically.
    • Request direct deposit using the correct bank account and routing number from an account that has your name on it.
    • Submit an accurate, complete return.
    • Verify your correct social security number.
    • Include your correct mailing address.

    Refunds may take longer to process if the return . . .

    • Includes errors, is incomplete or needs further review.
    • Includes a claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).
    • Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.  This form could take up to 14 weeks to process.
    • Is impacted by identify theft or fraud.

    To check your refund status:

    Use the "Where’s My Refund?" tool at or download the IRS2Go app. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will need to provide your Social Security number, your filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund.

    "Where’s My Refund?" tracks three stages: Return Received, Refund Approved and Refund Sent. 

    • You can check your refund status 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return. For a paper-filed return, allow 4 weeks before checking the status. 
    • When your return enters the Refund Approved stage, you will see personalized refund information with an actual refund date.
    • On occasion, "Where’s My Refund?" will instruct you to contact the IRS for further follow-up.

    By law, the IRS can’t issue a refund before mid-February for tax returns with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). However, you can still file your return any time after tax filing season begins.  The "Where’s My Refund?" and IRS2Go app will be updated with projected deposit dates by the end of February for EITC/ACTC.

    Information that is NOT available on "Where’s My Refund?" includes:

    • Amended Tax Return (Form 1040X) Information. However, there is a "Where’s My Amended Refund?" online tool at that provides the status of Form 1040X Amended Tax Returns for the current year and up to three prior years.
    • Business Tax Return Information.  You can call 800-829-4933 to check on a business tax return or any federal return other than a Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Return.
    • Prior Year Refund Information.  Information on "Where’s My Refund?" will be for the most recent tax year on file for you.

    Please Note:

    1. Please do not count on receiving your refund by a certain date to make major purchases or pay bills. Although the IRS typically issues refunds in less than 21 days, your return may require more time.
    2. A refund amount may be different than the amount filed on your tax return because a) all or part of your refund may have been used (offset) to pay off past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, student loans or similar debts; or b) the IRS may have made changes to your tax return. You’ll get an official IRS notice explaining changes, and "Where’s My Refund?" might show the reason for the change.

    Kansas Guidelines for Income Tax Refunds

    Direct deposit is the quickest and most convenient method to receive your Kansas income tax refund.

    • Taxpayers who filed electronically and are anticipating a refund can expect a direct deposit into their checking account in 10 to 14 business days. Provide the KDOR with your bank routing number and account number.
    • Taxpayers who filed by paper form and are anticipating a refund should allow at least 16 to 20 weeks to receive a refund back by mail.
    • Any errors, inaccurate forms or information, photocopied forms or incomplete information could delay processing of a return and extend the time it takes to receive your refund.

    To check your current year tax refund, go to the Kansas Department of Revenue Income and Homestead Refund online page. You will need your Social Security number(s) and the expected amount of your refund. By state law, refunds less than $5 will not be sent to you or direct deposited into your bank account but can be credited to your next year’s Kansas return.

    Similar to Federal Law, Kansas law provides that your income tax refund, in whole or part, can be applied/offset to certain government debts you have incurred. You can also credit forward your entire refund or part of your refund to be applied to next year’s Kansas estimated income tax.

    Please Note:

    1. You must file your Kansas return within 3 years of the original due date (plus extensions) to receive a refund. If the return is filed later than 3 years after the original due date, no refund will be issued.
    2. There are special procedures to claim a refund for a deceased taxpayer. Check the KDOR website for details.

    The above guidelines should assist you with questions regarding Federal and Kansas refunds. Please contact your SGA professional if further questions on refunds arise.

    Contributing Author:

    Amy M. DuPuis, CPA  |  Email

    Amy has been with Sink, Gordon & Associates LLP since January of 2010 and works with business entities and individuals on taxation, research and consulting. Amy has a combined 20 years of accounting experience and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. She pursued a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health-Medical Dietetics at The Ohio State University and graduated in 1977. She gained her Master of Professional Accountancy from Wichita State University in December 1996. Amy gained her CPA designation in January 1997. Outside of the firm, she is involved with her church in Topeka, St. David’s Episcopal. Additionally, Amy volunteers for several organizations within the Topeka community by participating in Share Fest, Let’s Help and volunteering at Rescue Mission, among other organizations. Amy has three children.


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