Refund dates change in “Where’s My Refund” as a tax return moves through IRS processing. A date change is not a sign of a problem for a person’s tax return. No action is needed by the taxpayer, unless “Where’s My Refund” specifically indicates that an action is needed.
The estimated refund date initially provided via “Where’s My Refund” is just that, an estimate based on a best-case scenario in which the tax return was filed accurately and there are no corrections or reviews required. However, there are many factors that could affect the processing of a taxpayer’s return that may also change the estimated date the refund will be issued. These could include:
The IRS balances customer service and tax compliance by reviewing tax returns to prevent fraudulent and erroneous refunds. These critical reviews could add time to refund processing, even for some legitimate returns.
The IRS may need time to fix a simple error, like a math error.
Refund timeframes can also be affected by such factors as bankruptcy, an open audit or a balance due on a related account such as a different tax year.
If a tax return is affected by one of these factors or by an IRS processing system delay, “Where’s My Refund” will generally provide updated information as that return is processed and/or an updated estimate as the actual refund date becomes more clear.