There are several reasons why your refund may not match the Where's My Refund? tool.
- The first reason would be that the refund is subject to an offset. The IRS Where's my Refund tool may show that your federal tax refund was offset for a past due obligation. However, the listed balance of your refund may not take into account all offsets your tax return has accrued. If this is the case, the refund you received may be lower than the balance of your refund shown through the IRS "Where's my Refund" tool
- The IRS adjusted something on your return. If this is the case, the IRS will send you a notice in about two weeks indicting the reason for the adjustment.
The most common reason for the IRS to adjust a refund, during the 2021 tax season, is the Recovery Rebate Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. The Recovery Rebate Worksheet is reviewed in detail in this article. However, the simple reason for the adjustment is generally an incorrect amount was entered for the third stimulus payment received. You can check the amounts the IRS has on record for your stimulus payments on their website. Reconciling the Additional Child Tax Credit payments can be reviewed in this article. You can also check for the total amount of payments received here.
3. Did you use the File & Go option? When you elect to have the tax program fees deducted from your refund, the refund is sent in its full amount to the third-party bank. The third-party bank then deducts the program fees and their convenience fee before depositing the remaining refund into your bank account.
What happens if my refund is reduced?
If your refund is reduced due to an offset, you will receive a letter from the Treasury Offset Department of the Bureau of Fiscal Services detailing the reason for your offset. You may additionally contact the Bureau of Fiscal Services by calling 800-304-3107 if you have questions regarding your offset.
If the refund was adjusted for any other reason, you will still receive a notice. Page 1 of the notice generally indicates the reason for the adjustment. We have some helpful articles to assist you with determining the reason for the adjustment.
What if the IRS adjusts my return for the RRC and it is incorrect?
If you did not receive the stimulus payment as the IRS has suggested, you will disagree with the notice (when you get it) so the IRS can track the stimulus payment to determine where it was sent. The notice indicates you should call them at 800-829-0922 to review the account with a representative. Have a copy of your tax return available when you call.