What Is a Tax Refund and When Can I Expect It?

A tax refund is money given back to a taxpayer by the government. You receive a tax refund when you overpay your taxes in a previous tax year. You are essentially getting back the excess money you gave to the government through taxes. 

When to Expect a Tax Refund

Paying your taxes can often be draining. Therefore, it is a great feeling when the government gives you back some of your money in the form of a tax refund.

You can avoid overpaying your taxes by filing your documents correctly. Sources are available from which you can learn more about the various tax forms.

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Below are the possible scenarios in which you can expect reimbursement.

#1: Error In Your Form W-4

The W-4 form contains your personal information that the employer uses to determine the amount they are to hold back from your paycheck for tax purposes. If an error causes you to be taxed more than you should, you will receive a tax refund during the tax period. 

#2: Child Tax Credit

As a taxpayer, you are eligible for a tax credit if you have a child as a dependent. The full refundable amount is $1600 for the year 2023. If a child is born in your household and the information was not updated during the tax returns, you will be eligible for a tax return. The reimbursed amount will be equivalent to the tax credit you should receive.

#3: American Opportunity Tax Credit

The government sometimes offers taxpayers a tax credit to aid in higher education expenses. If your tax obligation amounts to zero, you can get a portion of the tax credit you qualify for as a tax refund during the tax period.

#4: Premium Tax Credit

You can get a tax credit if you are a low-income family. The credit lowers the family’s premiums for the health care coverage they receive through the government. 

You can use all or part of the credit. If you do not use all the credit you qualify for, the government will pay you the balance during the tax period.

#5: Earned Income Tax Credit

Low-income families get a tax break from the government. The amount will depend on the income you receive, your filing status, and the number of dependents in your household. If you have paid your taxes in full and you qualify for the tax break, you can receive a tax refund during the tax period.

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How Do I Receive My Tax Refund?

The government uses two main ways to give you your tax refund: 

  • You can receive it in the form of a check that you will receive through your regular mail
  • You could get a direct deposit into your bank account

You can use the refund to buy savings bonds from the government.

Is a Tax Refund Great?

Yes. Getting a tax refund is a great thing. However, in some instances, you can properly file your taxes to ensure you don’t give more money to the government through your taxes in the first place.