Will the IRS properly refund my money?
September 19, 2019 3:12 AM   Subscribe

Back in April, I filed for an extension to file my US taxes. I hadn't completed everything, and at the time, it showed that I would owe $2k. So I sent in the payment to the IRS to avoid getting dinged with penalties and interest. I finished up, and e-filed today. As it turns out, after going through everything properly, I'm actually due $1k! Will the IRS easily give me back the $2k I already paid along with the refund? Or am I going to have to jump through hoops?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Last year I filed using TurboTax for the first time; the IRS sent me a letter shortly thereafter. I was concerned but sent in the requested documents. Six weeks later they told me they thought they owed me 2k more. Naturally I agreed with them.

So my experience is that they will give it back, but that it may take a bit longer than you would like.
posted by Comrade_robot at 3:19 AM on September 19, 2019

Its like any other tax refund. It might take a little less time, since the creaky old systems are under less pressure right now compared to the spring.
posted by rockindata at 4:03 AM on September 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I have ended up with extensions the last 2 years and both times were owed a refund after overpaying.....one time it was a rather substantial refund. It does take longer with an extension, not so much because of a refund, but because the extension itself takes time to process.
posted by SassyMcSassin at 4:28 AM on September 19, 2019

My experience has been that, yes, the IRS will make everything right. It might take some time (especially as underfunded and understaffed the service is these days) but you'll get your money back. I've actually gotten money back, even though my own (and TurboTax's) calculations said I owed.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on September 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

The IRS is pretty quick about processing refunds, so long as the immediate red flags don't appear in the return.
posted by megatherium at 4:52 AM on September 19, 2019

Yes they will.
posted by sallybrown at 5:07 AM on September 19, 2019

As it turns out, after going through everything properly, I'm actually due $1k!

Did you include the $2k you sent them in the payments on Schedule 5, which should then show up on line 17 of the 1040? The amount it says as your refund at the end of the return should already include the amount you paid with your extension. So either that $1k already includes the amount you paid, in which case that's all you're getting back, or the return isn't completely accurate. If you haven't filed yet, I'd go back and check that. If you have, they do catch a lot of these errors themselves, but it might slow stuff down a bit; I don't do this for a living anymore so I'm not really sure these days if amending or waiting for them to catch it works out to be less hassle. I just know that your estimated payments should be on the return and already included in the amount it says you're getting as a refund.
posted by Sequence at 6:05 AM on September 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you don't need the money immediately, I would not stress about it. I had something similar happen during a government shutdown (!) and it slow but still completely fine. In my case I had to file an amended return but once it was filed all I had to do was wait.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:55 AM on September 19, 2019

I paid extra thinking I would owe, then didn't file for 3 years. I got the extra and the refund. No problem.
posted by theora55 at 8:09 AM on September 19, 2019

Yeah, I came here to second Sequence. In general, the refund is calculated by adding up (withholding you've already paid + any estimated payments you've already paid, including the one in april - taxes you ended up owing, taking into account credits and such). It's super routine to have any combination of withholding and estimated payments, and that is what ends up constituting the refund.

So, if you did include the $2k already on your return (which you should have if turbotax was doing its job right), then you're not going to get back $3k, you're going to get back $1k. Just want to temper any expectations!
posted by mosst at 9:53 AM on September 19, 2019

Thanks for all of the answers. I just reviewed everything in TurboTax and see that the $2k WAS accounted for already. Boo. But hey, I wind up paying less anyway, so yay.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:28 AM on September 20, 2019

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