But to get that money, you first have to file your 2007 return. And if you're going to get a refund based on that filing, that initial IRS check of the year is of paramount concern.
The standard estimate is four to six weeks for a mailed, paper refund check. But if you have your money directly deposited, it cuts that by half or more.
The IRS, in its continuing effort to turn us all into electronic taxpayers, entices us by saying that if we e-file and have our money sent directly to an account, the turnaround could be as little as 10 days.
By now, everyone knows that to track our refunds, we can use the IRS online search tool Where's My Refund?
But the agency also has a companion refund site, the Refund Cycle Chart. It's a nifty little table the tax agency puts together to indicate when you can expect your refund.
The IRS is careful to point out that the chart's refund delivery dates are just guidelines (did you just hear Capt. Barbosa saying something about the Pirate Code, or was that just me?). "The IRS does not guarantee a specific date that a refund will be deposited into a taxpayer's financial institution or mailed," notes the footnote on the table.
But if your refund is well past the guideline date shown on the chart, that's a signal that you might want to go beyond online tracking and talk to a real person at the IRS about just what the holdup is with your money.