Will Ordering an IRS Tax Transcript Help Me Find Out When I’ll Get My Refund?

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Ordering your tax transcript is a technique a lot of folks use to get an update on their tax return processing and refund if they are not getting information (or see no bars) from the IRS WMR tool. But the IRS has categorically stated that being able to order your latest tax transcript does NOT mean that your refund has been processed or that a direct deposit payment is imminent.

However getting your latest free tax transcript (if available) may still be a good idea because it can give you some more information and clues. If you can view your  transcript online you will find out exactly why you are under review by the codes that will be listed. If your return is under review then that could be one reason your refund is delayed.

Common reasons returns are pulled and refunds are delayed include the following. You will see codes for these on your transcript

1. NEW changes this year compared to your last 3 years of filing? This will most definitely flag your return.
2. Address Change?
3. Did you file prior to receiving your W-2? (ex: did you use your last paycheck stub?) there could be a math error.
4. Educational Credit (e.g AOTC)
5. ID verification
6. Add/drop dependents?
7. Offset (owed back taxes for a prior year) which will not show up on the offset line.
8. Have you checked the offset line (800) 304-3107
9. Health Care Form (1095A) missing/not included

Reader question: I got to see my transcript. I’m not sure how to find the refund date. A few dates on there.

Response from another commenter: It will be the very last date on the ACCOUNT transcript….you will see 150, (806) withholding 766, 768, then the FINAL 846 Refund Issued. Could be other codes; you can google IRS Codes….if you want to know what they are. You don’t want to see freeze code 971, 570….or a letter has been sent…etc.,

If you can order and view the account transcript and the return transcript; that means that are done processing; but doesn’t mean the have completed the process and the refund can be held up. You can check to see if their were any holds, offsets or freezes on your account which could have delayed or taken your refund. If you can’t view your transcript online to see if there is any issues / codes that indicate something is wrong consider calling a tax advocate.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

isaac May 31

The assertions made in this article SOUND good, but aren’t at all true.
I’ve personally had almost ALL of the bullet items listed as “will surely FLAG your return”, I’ve had one, two, or even three simultaneously (New changes, Address change, education credit, I mean who isn’t using an education credit and moving a lot these days??) every year for the past 5 years.

Not once has my refund been delayed more than the standard 7-10 direct deposit days.


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