If you’re expecting a federal tax refund this year, it could be delayed. The agency reports that new anti-fraud measures could slow the refund process by approximately one week.
The IRS put new safeguards in place this tax season to provide stronger protection against tax refund fraud. The agency developed a comprehensive strategy to prevent, detect and resolve identity theft cases as soon as possible, but must also balance delivering tax refunds in a timely manner with ensuring appropriate compliance controls.
When it announced the opening of the 2012 filing season, the agency said that taxpayers who file electronically and select direct deposit could see their refunds in as few as 10 days and that 90 percent of refunds are received within 21 days. However, IRS officials said time frames provided on the “Where’s My Refund” tool on its website are projected time frames that are subject to revision.
The agency stepped up tax fraud prevention efforts after having been criticized heavily in recent years due to an increasing number of identity theft cases related to tax refunds.