When you have money coming back from the government, you want to get your hands on that money as soon as possible. This is true for state tax refunds as well as those from the IRS, and knowing when to expect your state refund is very important. While there is no one answer for the time it takes to receive a state tax refund, there are guidelines you can follow to get your money as quickly as possible.
Check for Accuracy
The most important thing you can do to ensure a speedy refund is to double-check your return for accuracy. Questions about any of the figures on your tax return could slow your refund and cause unnecessary delays. Before submitting your return, read the instructions one more time and verify that all of your information is accurate and complete. Then check the paperwork again for the average refund time, count out the number of weeks on your calendar and set a reminder to check on the status of your refund.
In most cases, you can get your refund much more quickly by choosing direct deposit instead of a paper check. It takes the state much less time to process a direct deposit transaction than to issue a paper check. This generally results in a faster refund for taxpayers who choose this option. When filling out your form, it is essential to review and double-check both your bank routing number and your account number, since a mistake or typo in either one could delay your refund.
Many states offer a simple tool allowing taxpayers to check the status of their refund either online or over the telephone. The paperwork you received with your tax form should include the URL of the website and the phone number to call. If not, go to the website for your state and search for the words "tax refund" to be connected. You will need to provide your Social Security number, or the confirmation number you received when you filed your return, along with the amount of your expected refund.
If you have not received your refund in the time specified for your state, follow up with the state revenue department to get a status update. The reasons for delay vary, but some of the most common include mathematical errors on the return itself, mismatches between the amount of income reported on the tax return the state's own records, and an incorrect routing or account number for direct deposit transactions. The state might also hold up your refund or even confiscate it if you owe money to state agencies or to the Federal government. Your state's revenue department can give you specific information if your refund check has a delay or other problems.
- A young woman holding a pen, doing her taxes image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com