IRS payment of tax refunds

Last week at my credit union I noticed my IRS refund will show up tomorrow. Is this because they only send out so many refunds per day? Or maybe they only send out a total dollar amount each day?

I don’t work for the IRS, but I assume that refunds are sent out once they are ready/approved. I know that the IRS is suffering a major staffing shortage and that may impact the rate of refunds being sent out. I doubt there’s a total dollar amount per day limit.

The IRS traditionally worked using a batch system. New returns were started on Monday, processed for several days and refunds paid on Friday. Even after they went electronic they still used this system. So by mid-week they know you will; get your refund on Friday. I don’t think the schedule is still the same but the system still might work that way.

I was shocked. I e-filed my tax returns but requested my refund in check form. The check arrived in a week! With delays and employee shortages from the IRS down to the post office, I thought I’d see it sometime this summer.

This is my hunch. It is only a hunch. YMMV: Have you seen those ads for debit cards that advertise, “Get your paycheck two days sooner?” My hunch is that electronic deposit notifications are sent two days before the actual deposit just to be sure that the account is still active. The come-on is that the debit card companies will credit your account when they receive the notification (which is two days before they actually receive the money). If that is the case, then the IRS just sends notifications just like every other electronic transfer.

In one of my accounts, I get notification of a pending deposit the day before it is available. That’s why the day no one got paid on payday, I was really nervous because I didn’t even have that prior day notification. I don’t know if it is always two-days ahead so much as part of the processing the pay warrants viz. process the pay, print and email the warrant and ship off the authorization to the bank to pay Saint Cad that amount in one shot then process the warrant for the next drone.

My guess is that if varies. The debit card advertisements say, “up to two days early”. Some may send out the notifications at different times. Others may never send preliminary notifications.