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When we receive a refund of tax we’ve already paid, it’s a lot like discovering unexpected money in the bank.

Everyone likes to see either a windowed envelope containing the state’s check arrive in the mail -- or perhaps an electronic entry in a bank statement that the refund has already been deposited safely.  

Once in a while, however, there is a problem. In the following pages you can find directions on what to do if your refund is lost; if you make a mistake in the bank’s routing number for a direct deposit of your refund, or more rarely, if another state agency intercepts your refund to satisfy a debt you owe to it or its clients. We also offer hints on how to prevent refund mistakes altogether.

Take the time to check the refund pages. Doing so can make your life a little easier.

Tips For Timely Refunds

There are many things that you can do to assist the Department in getting your refund out quickly.

  • Electronic Filing—filing electronically means that you will have more accurate returns and receive your refund faster. Access electronic filing.
  • Request Refund Express—direct deposit avoids delays that may occur in mailing checks. Refund Express does not guarantee earlier receipt of a refund, only that when the check is issued, it will reach the bank quickly.
  • File early, especially before March 15th—as the April 15th due date approaches, we receive a large volume of tax returns. Processing takes a little longer.
  • Check for mistakes. Refer to our list of common errors. Verify the accuracy of the information on your return, including the Social Security Number(s) or other tax identification numbers.
  • Check addresses and mathematical computations. Using the wrong tax table or tax rates and making mathematical mistakes will cause processing delays.
  • Make sure we have your correct mailing address—if you have moved since your last filing, update your mailing address with us online.
  • Be informed—read the instruction guides for all income tax forms.

Common filing errors on tax returns 

Errors on tax returns may result in refunds of less than is due to you, delayed refunds, or additional tax, plus penalty and interest. Some common errors to avoid:      

  • using incorrect Social Security Numbers;
  • calculation errors;
  • failing to include all income;
  • selecting incorrect filing status;
  • failure to include dependent information;
  • missing some allowable credits or deductions;
  • failing to attach W-2s when mailing paper returns;
  • mailing state returns and payments to the Internal Revenue Service;
  • using incorrect forms or schedules, and
  • missing signatures.

To receive a timely refund for the appropriate amount and to avoid owing additional tax, penalty and interest, you should thoroughly review your return before submitting it to the Department.

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