Did you know that the average tax refund amount in 2018 was about $3,000? However, this figure is expected to go much higher in 2019. Unfortunately, not all people who apply for a tax refund get to enjoy their money.
Something might happen to your refund check, and if you don't know the appropriate action to take, you might never get a chance to access your funds. Tax refund checks can be stolen, lost, or damaged. Whether your tax refund check was stolen, lost, or damaged, swift action is the best course of action to handle the situation promptly.
In this post, we teach you on how to get the IRS to reissue your tax refund check. But, before you initiate the process of getting another check, make sure that you consult the "Where's My Refund" tool to be sure about your refund status.
If you are sure that your refund check is missing, the most crucial thing that you need to do is to contact the IRS and notify them of the undelivered check. If your return was filed as "married filing jointly" you must choose to speak to an IRS agent other than making your claim through the automated system.
Once you explain your case to the agent, the IRS will issue you with the Taxpayer Refund form commonly referred to as Form 3911 to initiate the check replacement process. You can download the form here.
Once your missing refund claim has been fully processed and the refund check deposited, you will automatically receive a notification that will have a copy of the check from the National Bureau of Fiscal Services. The IRS will examine the signature on the claim and check before it decides on whether to process the refund or decline the claim. This review process can take up to six weeks.
Before you start to panic and think that your tax refund check has been stolen in the mail, be sure to check your refund status or contact the IRS to verify whether your refund check has been mailed to you. Keep in mind that you'll need to know the exact refund amount and your social security number.
If you are sure that your check has been stolen, contact the IRS immediately and provide all the necessary details. You must wait for at least 28 days from the exact date that the refund check was mailed to you to file such a claim. Once you submit your stolen check claim, the IRS will initiate the process of re-issuing the refund.
One simple way to guard against lost or stolen refund checks is to have your tax refund deposited directly to your bank account when filling out the refund form. The good thing is that you can have the refund split into different bank accounts if you want it done that way.
Another significant benefit of this approach is that you'll have access to your refund much sooner than waiting for the paper check to be mailed to you which might take several weeks.
In fact, if you e-file on time and specify that you want your refund deposited directly to your bank account, you could access your money within 14 days from the exact date that the IRS accepted your return. Just remember the fact that the longer you wait to file your return, the longer you will wait for your tax refund.