Individual Income Tax Update

Reminders for Individual Income Tax Preparers

We have a number of direct deposits being returned to the department from the financial institutions. Please make sure you have entered the correct routing number for your client's financial institution and your client's correct financial account number. If you have entered an incorrect routing number or account number, the department will have to issue a paper check. This process can take an additional three to four weeks to complete.

We have a number of checks being returned as undeliverable because the apartment number is missing from the address. Please make sure the address is complete and up to date so any refund check can be properly delivered by the United States Postal Service.

Reasons for Delays to Individual Income Tax Refunds

Refunds from Wisconsin returns filed in the Federal/State ELF Program will usually be issued within one week if direct deposited and two weeks if paper check. However, certain conditions will delay refunds and may change refund amounts. This happens with refunds from electronically filed returns, as well as with refunds from paper returns.

Some possible reasons for refund delays:

  1. The estimated tax payments claimed on the return do not match the estimated tax payments recorded on the Department of Revenue's estimated tax file. Note: You can review estimated tax payments online at
  2. The taxpayer or spouse owes delinquent Wisconsin taxes.
  3. The taxpayer or spouse owes a debt to another Wisconsin state agency.
  4. The taxpayer or spouse owes a debt to counties or municipalities in Wisconsin.
  5. The taxpayer or spouse owes a debt to a tribe in Wisconsin.
  6. The taxpayer or spouse owes a debt to the IRS.
  7. The proper Homestead Credit attachments were not submitted timely with the Form W-RA.
  8. Earned Income Credit (EIC) was claimed but the EIC-A is not completed.
  9. The refund amount is adjusted when the electronic return is processed.
  10. The return acknowledgment contained one or more error codes.
  11. The return must be reviewed before the refund can be issued. Many returns with EIC and homestead credit claims are reviewed for completeness and accuracy.

A paper check will be issued if direct deposit is not possible.

Individual Income Tax - Processing Season At A Glance

As of February 13, 2009, the department has received a total of 674,076 returns, with 622,914 being electronically filed and 51,162 being paper filed.

Page last updated February 19, 2009