Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ About Money

Common questions about refunds and payments.

I have efiled my tax return. When can I expect my refund?

Your efile has to be accepted by the IRS before your refund is processed. The complete efile cycle typically takes 24-72 hours. If your return is rejected for any reason and you need to revise and resubmit, the efile cycle will repeat.

Once your return is accepted, if you chose Direct Deposit, your refund should be deposited into your account in about 2-3 weeks. If you chose to receive a paper check, the IRS needs to print and mail it. In this case your check may take 2-3 weeks longer to arrive.

State refund cycles vary by state. Some are faster than federal, while others take longer. Check with your state for specifics.

My efile was accepted over a week ago. Where is my refund?

You can get refund information about your federal income tax return through the IRS's secure website 72 hours after they acknowledge receipt of your return. Where's my refund? is fast, easy and safe. You will need to enter 3 pieces of information from your efiled return:

  • Your social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Your filing status
  • The exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund

If you check the status of your refund and are not given an issuance date, wait until the next week before checking back. If you filed Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, with your return, allow 11 weeks from your efile date before checking your refund status. If you are looking for amended return information, please contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

What is Direct Deposit? Why should I use it?

Direct Deposit is an electronic method for the IRS or state to deposit your tax refund into your checking or savings account.

Direct Deposit is much faster and more secure than a paper refund check. If used, please ensure you key in the correct routing and account numbers for your bank. Both numbers are printed on your personal checks, or you can ask your bank.

We suggest you use Direct Deposit for your tax refund whenever possible.

Will there be any charge if I choose Direct Deposit? No, there are no fees for choosing direct deposit. I have entered a wrong routing number or account number for Direct Deposit. What should I do? You need to contact the IRS directly, explain the mistake and have the IRS recall the direct deposit and issue you a check or a new deposit. However, this could take a while. The IRS number to call is 1-800-829-1040. I forgot to choose Direct Deposit in my efile. Can I change it? There is no way to change your return once it has been sent to the IRS. You will have to wait to receive results back from the IRS. If your return is rejected for an error, you can correct the error and then change to the Direct Deposit option. If your return is accepted, you will not be able to make changes. Can I have my refund deposited into someone else's account? For your protection, Direct Deposit should be made only to an account that has the same name as that of the refund check. Why is my refund short? The IRS or your state can withhold some or all of your refund for back taxes, unpaid student loans, alimony, child support or other liabilities. If your refund is less than the amount on your accepted return, you can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for clarification. Can I direct deposit my refund into a foreign bank account? You cannot direct deposit a refund into a foreign bank account. Direct deposit is available for bank accounts located in the United States only.
I owe federal taxes. How do I pay?

We have several payment options available for you:

  • We offer you the option of paying your balance due with a credit or debit card. This option is provided by our partner, Official Payments. A small convenience fee will apply.
  • We offer you the ability to use the Direct Payment option to pay the balance due for your federal and certain state taxes directly from your bank account (checking or savings). There is no additional fee for this feature.
  • You can mail your payment to the IRS and state taxing authority. The filing instructions in your return will give you additional information.
  • By filing Form 9465 (an Installment Agreement Request), the IRS will allow you to set up payment arrangements. You can obtain Form 9465, with instructions, from the IRS online at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f9465.pdf

More information and the ability to select these options can be found by clicking on the ''Filing Options'' link, located on the side of every page, and continuing to the Filing Options page.

I owe state taxes. How do I pay?

Different states accept different forms of payment. Visit your state government tax agency website by selecting your state from our State Tax Return page.

Some states accept payment by Direct Debit but some do not. Please refer to your State Department of Taxation for more information or go to eSmart's State Tax Filing page.

You can pay by mailing a check with a payment voucher to your state. Our system will prepare a payment voucher for you. You will find this voucher by clicking on the "Print" link next to your return once you have successfully submitted it. Do not include your tax return if you have efiled.

Check your state's website for more specific information on how to pay.

When do I pay if I owe taxes? The tax payment deadline is April 15th, no matter how you pay. With paper check, the payment and voucher need to be mailed before April 15th. With Direct Debit, you can set a withdrawal date on any day before April 15th. Even if you have filed an extension (Form 4868) you still need to pay (an estimation of your taxes) before April 15th. Otherwise, the IRS may add interest and penalties. What is Direct Debit? Direct Debit allows the IRS or state to withdraw money directly from your checking or savings account. With efile, you can select the date of withdrawal for anytime before April 15th, even if you file early. If you file after April 15th, the withdrawal will occur immediately upon efile acceptance. Does my bank allow Direct Debit? Most financial institutions accept electronic funds transfers. Others though, especially credit unions, may not allow Direct Debit or Direct Deposit. If you are in doubt, check with your bank. It is your responsibility to ensure that your financial institution accepts electronic funds transfers. My tax payment has not been deducted from my bank account. How do I check on this? Once your efile has been accepted, we do not receive nor can we request more information from the IRS/state about your taxes or your refund. First, you should check your efile status and make sure your return has been accepted. Then contact the IRS or the state for further information. Please be aware that the IRS and individual states operate differently, and some states do not accept payment by Direct Debit. What are installment payments? Installment payments are a payment arrangement that you and the IRS will negotiate. This will allow you to make arrangements to pay your tax bill in smaller amounts at scheduled times, rather than a large lump sum. You can obtain Form 9465, with instructions, from the IRS online at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f9465.pdf I made a mistake and sent in too much money. What should I do? First, allow the return to be processed. Then, if the return is still incorrect after it has been processed and accepted, you will need to file Form 1040X - Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return. eSmart Tax does not support amended returns at this time. Please contact the Liberty Tax office nearest to you for help filing an amended return. I made a mistake on my tax return. Should I have paid more taxes?

First, allow the return to be processed. Then, if the return is still incorrect after it has been processed, you will need to fill out Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return. Include copies of any schedules that have been changed or any W-2 forms that you did not initially include.

To avoid paying interest on any amounts owed, Form 1040X should be submitted after you receive your refund, or by the due date of the return, whichever is earlier. Send a check or money order for the full amount payable to the United States Treasury. On your payment, include your name, address, daytime phone number, social security number, the tax year and the type of return.

For more information visit the IRS's FAQ page.

Can my taxes be debited from a foreign bank account? You cannot debit funds from a foreign bank account to pay any amounts you owe. Direct debit is available for bank accounts located in the United States only. What are my options for paying my federal income tax?

Options for paying your federal income tax owed are:

Direct Debit: If you electronically file your return, you can have the IRS automatically withdraw your federal income tax owed from a bank account located in the United States.

Check: You can mail a check or money order made out to the "United States Treasury" with your payment voucher (Form 1040-V) to the IRS by the tax filing deadline. Be sure to write your name, address, social security number and tax year on your check or money order. The payment voucher can be printed once you have successfully submitted your return (do not mail a copy of your tax return if you electronically filed your return).

Credit Card: If you electronically file your return, you can use your credit card to pay your taxes owed. To pay federal income with a credit card, please visit www.officialpayments.com (additional fees will be charged).

Installment Payments: If you can't pay the full amount you owe on your tax return (or on a notice sent by the IRS), you can use the Installment Agreement Request (Form 9465) to request a monthly installment plan. Generally, you can have up to 60 months to pay. Form 9465 is available during the checkout process. Before requesting an installment agreement, you should consider other less costly alternatives, such as getting a bank loan or using available credit on a credit card. The IRS charges a $105 fee to set-up an installment agreement and interest on the principal balance owed. The IRS will generally let you know within 30 days after they receive your request whether it is approved or denied. If you can pay the full amount you owe within 120 days, call 800-829-1040 to establish a request to pay in full. If you can do this, you can avoid paying the $105 fee to set-up an installment agreement.

How much does it cost to efile with eSmart? Prices for e-filing with eSmart can vary, depending on the level of service you'd like to take advantage of. Please check our pricing page for more information. How do I pay eSmart for my tax preparation fees? Prices for e-filing with eSmart can vary, depending on the level of service you'd like to take advantage of. Please check our pricing page for more information. My efile was rejected. Can I get a refund for the efile charge? We cannot guarantee your efile will be accepted. Your efile could be rejected for a number of reasons such as information errors beyond our knowledge or control. You can revise and resubmit your efile for free, but we will not refund the efile charge once your return is processed. Can the fees for using eSmart be subtracted from my tax refund? Yes. If you have a refund, you can have your tax preparation fees deducted from your refund during the checkout process. There is an extra charge for this convenience in addition to your tax preparation fees. Using this option, you have no out-of-pocket expenses to prepare and file your return and you do not have to provide a credit/debit card or e-check information for payment. This feature is only available during tax season (January - April). Do I have to pay again if my return is rejected and I have to resubmit? No, if your return is rejected, you can make changes for free. I paid my tax preparation fees to eSmart with my credit card. Will my taxes be deducted from my credit card? No, eSmart Tax’s tax preparation fee is totally separate from the payment of your taxes. You can pay taxes with a credit card, but only through an IRS authorized financial institution that may also charge you a convenience fee. My credit card was declined. How do I submit new payment information? If your credit card was declined, you will be presented with an opportunity to make payment arrangements using a different credit card. Why was my credit card declined? Can I give you my credit card number over the phone? There are several reasons why your credit card may be rejected. First, make sure you have entered the correct credit card information. Also, make sure you did not use a debit card by accident. Our system currently does not support debit card payments. In addition, some banks issue ATM cards with Visa or MasterCard logos on the card. Anyone using such cards will experience a higher rate of rejection. Sometimes a valid card is rejected for high risk or suspected charge reasons. If rejected, you will either need to try another card, select a different payment option, or call your credit card company. We apologize for the inconvenience, but eSmart Tax does not accept payments over the phone.