In case you missed it, a postal worker was charged with obstruction for not delivering mail to customers between May 2014 and January 2015. He must have had a sizable garage because the package total came in around 22,000 that were stored and undelivered (he must have watched the Seinfeld episode way back when).  It is unlikely this affected anyone here in North Carolina, but included in that mail were 5 US Treasury refund checks. With the refund process already painfully slow for many of our clients, we can only imagine those five household’s frustration.

With the understaffing situation at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and typical delays with the state Department of Revenue, now more than ever we are setting client expectation on when they can expect their refunds. Returns filed electronically with direct deposit are the best option, but sometimes with amendments or other special circumstances that is just not possible. Fortunately there are convenient places to look up the status of a refund for those that are anticipating its arrival:

Federal Tax Returns

http://www.irs.gov/Refunds

Federal Amended Tax Returns

http://www.irs.gov/Filing/Individuals/Amended-Returns-(Form-1040-X)/Wheres-My-Amended-Return-1

North Carolina Tax Returns

https://eservices.dor.nc.gov/wheresmyrefund/SelectionServlet

Depending on the time of year (March and April being peak delay times) refunds can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. This is why we recommend getting information in as soon as possible. However, if it has been over 6 weeks and you have not received a refund those websites are great resources to check. Refund checks are typically valid up to one year from issue cashing them upon receipt is important.