Some Refunds Delayed to Combat Fraud

The IRS and state tax agencies have implemented policies to protect you from fraud. Many agencies have changed their approval process in order to prevent those trying to steal your refund from succeeding. As a result, some refunds may be issued later than in past years.

Refunds are not controlled by TaxAct, so you can still complete and file your return as usual. This will help you be at the head of the line once the issuing agency is ready to send refunds.

These delays won't affect all taxpayers, so to help you determine when to expect your refund we've put together the following list:

Federal Refunds (IRS):

Affected taxpayers: Those who claim the Earned Income Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)

Refunds issued: Not before mid February. For example, last year refunds were issued within 21 days of February 27, 2018.

State Refunds:

Alabama - No announced changes.

Alaska- No announced changes.

Arizona - No changes.

Arkansas- Identity Theft has been a growing problem nationally and the Department is taking additional measures to ensure tax refunds are issued to the correct individuals. These additional measures may result in tax refunds not being issued as quickly as in past years. Taxpayers may check their refund status online by using the Where’s My Refund? link located on the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP) webpage. Please note that registration is not required to make payments or to check refund status.

California - No changes.

Colorado - No changes.

Connecticut - No announced changes.

Delaware - No announced changes.

District of Columbia - OTR’s enhanced security measures to safeguard tax dollars and combat identify theft/tax refund fraud may result in longer processing times for some tax returns and associated refunds. The processing window for selected tax returns could be up to 25 days.

Georgia - Please allow 90 business days to receive refunds. The Department is taking additional fraud prevention measures to ensure tax refunds are issued to the correct individuals. You will receive your refund via paper check if you are a first-time Georgia filer or if you have not filed your taxes in five or more years.

Hawaii - No announced changes.

Idaho - Refunds issued within 7-8 weeks for e-filed returns, 10-11 weeks for paper-filed returns.

Illinois - No announced changes.

Indiana - Will issue refund once return has been processed and cleared through their Identity Protection Program. E-filers should receive refund within 14 days, paper-filers within 12 weeks.

Iowa - With the increase of identity theft and tax refund fraud, you may experience longer wait times than in past years before receiving your refund. The Iowa Department of Revenue does not provide estimated time frames for refund processing because every return is different. Please check your Iowa refund status online at “Where’s My Refund?”. Iowa Department of Revenue phone representatives see the same information that you see online.

Kansas - No changes.

Kentucky - No changes.

Louisiana - No longer allows direct deposit for first-time filers.

Maine - No changes.

Maryland - No announced changes.

Massachusetts - The Department of Revenue takes identity fraud very seriously. If any of your information (address, bank account, etc.) changed since last year, there may be additional security steps to verify your identity to protect you and the Commonwealth. This may result in extended refund turnaround times.

Refund turnaround times may be shorter for those e-filed returns that do not require additional verification.

Michigan - No changes.

Minnesota - Refund issued once return is reviewed for accuracy. Property tax refunds issued July 1, Aug. 1, Aug. 15, and Sept. 15.

Mississippi - No announced changes.

Missouri - Last year, the Missouri Department of Revenue replaced our Refund Inquiry System with a Return Inquiry Tracker where taxpayers can track the status of their Individual Income Tax return and refund, and also sign up to receive updates each time the status of the return changes. Track your refund at this link:

Montana - It can take up to 90 days to issue a refund.

Nebraska - In response to rising instances of identity theft and in an effort to reduce refund fraud, the Department has implemented fraud detection and verification processes designed to protect all taxpayers filing Nebraska returns. These steps may increase the amount of time needed to process income tax returns and issue tax refunds. The Department is committed to safeguarding taxpayer information and to processing tax returns as efficiently as possible. Please allow a minimum of 30 days to receive your refund if you e-file an error-free return. For paper returns, please allow a minimum of three months to receive your refund if you file an error-free return. Your refund will generally be issued by July 15, if your return is filed by the April 15th due date.

New Hampshire - No announced changes.

New Jersey - Will begin issuing refunds the third week of February.

New Mexico - E-filed return processed and refund issued within two to four weeks. Paper-filed return processed and refund issued within eight to twelve weeks.

New Jersey - No changes.

New York - No changes.

North Carolina - No announced changes.

North Dakota - No specific timeline for issuing refunds. To check the status of your refund, visit

Ohio - No changes.

Oklahoma - Once return is processed, refund is issued within five business days.

Oregon - Will begin issuing refunds on February 15.

Pennsylvania - No changes.

Rhode Island - No announced changes.

South Carolina - Returns which are filed early are usually processed more quickly than returns filed closer to April 17. Ordinarily, within three weeks after we receive your complete return we will mail your refund. Therefore, please allow at least five weeks for your refund to arrive before you contact us.

Tennessee - No announced changes.

Utah - Please remember that the Tax Commission cannot issue refunds before March 1st if it cannot verify your W-2s with your employers. Due to our efforts to protect your identity, please allow 120 days from the date you filed your return or March 1, whichever is later, to process your return and refund request. All refund checks and direct deposits are issued by the State Division of Finance after being approved by the Tax Commission.

Taxpayers may check their refund status online by using the Where’s My Refund link located on the Utah Taxpayer Access Point (Utah TAP) webpage.

They will need the following:

  • Taxpayer ID number
  • amount of the refund
  • federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) listed on Line 4 of their return.

Taxpayers may also call 801-297-2200 or 1-800-662-4335 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

They will need the following:

  • Taxpayer ID number
  • amount of the refund
  • current address.

Vermont - Will begin issuing refunds on February 6.

Virginia - Majority of refunds will be issued with no delays. Once a refund is approved, it may take 2 to 7 days for the direct deposit to occur.

West Virginia - The West Virginia State Tax Department is responding to an increased risk of fraudulent filings and is implementing enhanced security measures for your protection. As a result, expect significant delay of your tax refund. You should only call concerning your refund if it has been more than 10 weeks since filing your return. In the interim, please use this tool to check the status of your refund.

Typical refund timeframes for correctly filed returns

  • An E-filed Return may take as long as 7-8 weeks after the acknowledgement is received from the state.
  • A Paper Filed Return may take as long as 10-11 weeks after the return is received by the West Virginia State Tax Department.

Refund Exceptions

  • First-time filers should allow about 3 additional weeks to the timelines above.
  • Requests for more information will delay refunds until the requested information is received. Allow approximately 6 weeks from the receipt of the requested information to review and complete the processing of the return.
  • Refund timeframes are general and do not apply to every refund. It is best not to depend on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making purchases or paying bills.
  • Some refunds may ultimately be reduced or result in a balance of tax due depending on the supporting information supplied or on record with the West Virginia State Tax Department.
  • Many refunds will be paid in a shorter time frame, but it is not abnormal to wait a significant time period if for any reason the return requires additional review.

Wisconsin - No changes.