Is IRS Pulling Test Batch

An IRS test batch, or also known as the Controlled Release Process is when the Internal Revenue Service tests if the tax preparation services work as they should. 

A week prior to the start of every tax season, the Internal Revenue Service runs the Controlled Release Process to ensure that tax preparation services are up to the changes and they run normally. As for whether or not the IRS is pulling a test batch, yes, the agency does. The test batches are run before the start of every tax season. The chances of your tax return being pulled for the test batch are very low though. In 2023, there were more than 130 million e-filed tax returns – only under a million of those returns selected for test batches.

While it makes sense for the IRS to test tax preparation services to see they’re working perfectly and up-to-bar with the most recent tax changes, what does it mean for the average Joe? If your return is pulled out for a test batch, there is nothing you need to worry about. 

Although the test batch includes a screening of acceptance and processing of tax returns along with issuing tax refunds, your refund won’t be late. Your refund is issued to you like it would without the test batch. You won’t experience any delays with your refund. The only time most taxpayers see a delay on their refunds when they file a return early is when they claim the Additional Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit on their tax returns and claim a refund through the credit. This is because the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t issue tax refunds of taxpayers who claimed these credits until the first week of March. 

Frequently asked questions about IRS test batch

When is the IRS test batch? 

The IRS test batch usually begins a week before the start of the new tax season. So, it will start somewhere between mid and late January.

Will IRS hold my refund in 2024?

The IRS won’t hold your refund if there is nothing wrong or suspicious about it. If you’re filing taxes like everybody else and didn’t miss the deadline, there is no reason for the IRS to hold your refund. Simply because your return was selected for the test batch doesn’t mean that the IRS will take longer to issue your refund.

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