Well over half of this country lives paycheck to paycheck. Many people don't have savings and when there's an emergency, such as car breaks down, or a major catastrophe, like a fire or a serious illness, they don't have any money to cope with the situation.
For millions of Americans, a tax refund is one of the biggest checks they see all year. They rely on this check.
If you've filed your taxes on time, you may be waiting anxiously for your refund. And waiting and waiting...
The IRS has set up a website appropriately named, Where's my refund? This site will give you information about your federal income tax return 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return.
You will need to enter 3 things to get started:
1) Your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
2) Your filing status
3) The exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund
This information will yield the status of your refund within 24 hours of an e-filed return or 4 weeks of a paper filed return. Now, if waiting for that check isn't trying your patience enough, you may encounter an error (or reference) code. Irritating, yes, but not insurmountable.
Your next step is to identify the code and see if any action is required. Each error has a specific set of steps that the IRS will follow, called Inquiry Response Procedure.
Here is the list of what the IRM Codes mean.
The most common message to show up on WMR is "Refer to Tax Topic 152." This is common especially for those who selected direct deposit. You can read more about it here -- Tax Topic 152.
Another common code is 9001; this means you accessed WMR using a different SSN or ITIN. That could be a red flag.
Once the IRS is convinced that no fraud has taken place, you will get your return.
If there is an issue, the IRS will typically send you a letter to your mailing address within 90 days stating what the issue is, and any additional information required.
If all of this sounds like a complicated treasure hunt of codes and errors, a phone call works, as well. If you have any questions, you can call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.