Where is Your Tax Refund?
Navigating tax season can be overwhelming for all taxpayers. With so much paperwork and stress, finally filing can cause a sense of relief. But after a few weeks, you may start to wonder where your tax refund is. Knowing how to locate your tax refund is crucial for taxpayers, and having a reliable CPA can help you alleviate any concerns you may have.
If you’ve opted for direct deposit, your tax refund may be in your bank account. People who file electronically and choose to receive their refund through direct deposit can expect to receive their refund in less than three weeks. Filing by paper can delay the process, especially for expatriates living overseas. In that case, your tax refund may be awaiting approval or in the mail. If you’re an expatriate who hasn’t received your tax refund and are concerned about its location, you can call the IRS International Taxpayer Service Call Center. Regardless, your tax refund is probably in one of three places: in your bank account, in the mail, or still at the IRS.
US Tax Help can take the stress off of filing taxes. With a focus on assisting expatriates in filing their taxes, US Tax Help has certified public accountants to simplify our clients’ filing process. If you’re an expatriate who needs help filing their income taxes, call US Tax Help today at (541) 362-9127.
Where is My Tax Refund?
Expatriates living overseas still have to pay US federal income tax. That can be tricky while living outside of the country. After filing, it may take longer for you to receive your tax refund because of your location out of the country. For expatriates who are unsure where their tax refund is, it’s likely in one of three places:
In Your Bank Account
Filing electronically and opting for direct deposit can help you know exactly where your refunded money is. Especially for expatriates, filing online can be the easiest option. Paper-filing from overseas can be risky. Mailing your paperwork to the United States from a foreign country may increase the chances of getting lost. The same logic applies to a mailed refund. Choosing that your refund is deposited into your bank account upon approval is a sure way to know where your tax refund is.
In the Mail
Sometimes, people prefer to receive their tax refund by check via mail. In that case, most Americans should expect their refund within six to eight weeks of filing. However, it may be longer for expatriates living out of the country. If it’s been a considerable amount of time since you’ve filed your tax returns and you still haven’t received your check, it may still be in the mail. The IRS offers a portal for Americans to check the status of their tax refund. So, if you haven’t received your tax refund yet, it may still be in the mail.
Delayed at the IRS
The IRS may delay your refund for several reasons. Delays are most likely a sign that the amount you’ve claimed in your taxes doesn’t align with the amount the IRS calculated. If that’s the case, it may take longer for the IRS to send you your refund. That’s why using a CPA to file your taxes can be beneficial. An experienced CPA can help make sure that your documents and claims are correct, speeding up the refund process. Again, if the IRS delays your refund, you can check its status through the Where’s My Refund portal.
What to Do if You Can’t Find Your Tax Refund?
Especially for expatriates overseas, tax refunds may get lost in the mail. Your paperwork may get lost on its way to the IRS, or the paper check tax refund sent to you may get lost. Either situation is inconvenient, and being prepared can save you a headache.
When paperwork gets lost in the mail, it may affect your eligibility to receive a refund. In most cases, expatriates have to file by Tax Day like other American taxpayers (unless they’re eligible for an extension). To avoid issues with a mail carrier losing your tax return, file as early as possible, keep a record of your paperwork, and maintain proof that you’ve mailed your tax return. That way, if there’s an issue with a mail carrier, you will be prepared. Of course, filing with an experienced CPA can help you avoid such a problem. If your CPA files your paperwork physically, they can keep the proper records if there is an issue with the mail carrier.
If you’ve opted to receive your tax refund in the form of a paper check, there’s a chance it may get lost in the mail. When something is mailed overseas, it travels on planes and through various distributing centers, increasing the chance that it may be misplaced. If you haven’t received your paper check from the IRS, visit the Where’s My Refund portal.
If the portal cannot locate your check, call the International Taxpayer Service Call Center if you’re an expatriate. Report your check missing. The initial check will be canceled (if it wasn’t cashed), and a new check will be issued. In cases where your refund check was cashed by someone other than yourself, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service will review your claim to determine its legitimacy.
Call US Tax Help Today to File Your Taxes
If you’re an expatriate who needs help filing your American taxes while overseas, US Tax Help can assist you. Call us today at (541) 362-9127 to start.