When is my state tax refund considered late?

jscalona
by jscalona

While its fairly easy to check your federal refund status if you’re waiting for a refund check, checking your state tax refund status is a different story. There could be any number of reasons why you haven’t received your state refund.

Even more annoying, states don’t provide taxpayers with a set time to expect their refunds. When you’re looking for your federal refund check, you can look up the IRS’s handy chart on your federal tax refund status. There is no such chart to check state refund status.

Why Is It Late?
In the past, there have been different reasons for a delay in payment from the state. Back in 2009, North Carolina had to separate the checks they issued to taxpayers. The state was experiencing a $2.2 billion money shortfall due to the recession. They sent out the checks throughout the year to avoid paying too much at once. As a result, many North Carolina taxpayers waited over half a year to receive their money.

In 2010, this was even worse. On top of that, tax cuts meant less workers at the tax office. This meant a longer waiting time for state tax refunds. Hawaii even went as far to announce their state refund status program would be delayed until July 1st of that year.

Whether fund or worker related, backups can drive taxpayers crazy. Luckily, there are ways to check on your state tax refund status, and they are similar to checking your federal refund status.

Where to Check
Again, with 50 states there are 50 different places to go for your refund status. The federal refund status hotline is set up so everyone goes to one place. That isn’t the case with state taxes. Some states even have multiple areas to check when trying to find out about your state refund status.

To start, find your state tax office’s website. There should be a link to check your refund status. It’s usually called “Where’s My Refund?” or “Check My Status.”

The tax office’s website should also list a phone number to call if you’d rather speak to a human. Either way, you’ll need your tax form, as they’ll ask for certain information, including the exact amount you expect to receive.

Hopefully you’ll hear some good news. It remains to be seen if the upcoming tax season will be like the past few years. If so, be patient. However, if you check your refund status and feel your money has been lost or stolen, call your state’s tax office immediately.