Now that April 15th is behind us, you may wonder when you will receive your Income Tax refund. However, some of what you see or hear about refunds may be fiction rather than fact.
Here are some common misconceptions.
FICTION: The only way to find out when to expect my refund is to call Taxation’s Customer Service Center or visit a Taxation Regional Information Center.
FACT: The fast and easy way to check your refund status is to visit our online inquiry system or call our automated refund inquiry systems.
You can reach them at 609-826-4400 or 1-800-323-4400 (toll-free in NJ, NY, PA, DE and MD). These systems are available 24/7 and are updated every week.
Use the refund inquiry systems if you:
FICTION: I checked the system, but there is still no check date or direct deposit date listed for my refund. There must be a problem.
FACT: We will send you a letter if there are any problems with your tax return. Taxpayer returns are processed as quickly as possible after they are received. However, some returns take longer to process than others, mostly because the return is incomplete or needs further review.
FICTION: The check date given by the automated system has passed, and I still don’t have my refund. My refund must be lost.
FACT: Your refund can be delayed if you provided us with incorrect banking information or your bank account is closed. If you requested direct deposit for your refund, check the banking information listed on your tax return to make sure it is accurate and the account is still open. If there is a problem with the banking information, your bank will return your refund to us and we will then send a check to the mailing address on your tax return. This process takes additional time.
Sometimes, tax professionals who prepare your return will request that your refund be deposited into the firm’s bank account. In that case, you should contact your tax preparer to get your refund.
If you requested a paper check, make sure the address on your tax return is current, because that is where your check will be mailed. Allow 30 days to receive the check. If you have moved, you should contact the Division and provide us with a current address. When the post office returns your check to us, we will reissue it to your new address. This process also takes additional time.
You can search online to see if your refund check was returned to the Division of Taxation because of an invalid mailing address. If you find that your check was returned, you can submit a claim form online to have it reissued.
FICTION: You are holding my refund for a debt I do not owe.
FACT: The Division of Taxation participates in a program that allows other State agencies and the IRS to put a hold on your refund for a debt owed to them. It is possible that you satisfied a debt with another agency but that agency has not notified us. If that is true, please contact that agency. See Set-Off Program for more information.
FICTION: My refund is delayed because the State Budget does not have the funds to pay for it.
FACT: We do not hold or delay refunds because of the State Budget. Your refund could take longer if we need more information to verify your return. In this case, you may receive a letter from us. To fight identity theft, we also use additional tools to prevent your refund from going to the wrong person. Our anti-fraud measures can result in additional scrutiny for some returns, which could lead to delays.
Have other filing or refund questions? See our Personal Income Tax FAQ.