Finding a tax refund in your mailbox or deposited in your bank account can be a reason to celebrate, and the sooner the better. On average, tax filers receive their refunds about three weeks after filing, but sometimes they can take longer. Some of the major reasons for the delays are simple things within your control. Once you’re aware of them, you can avoid them and keep your return—and your refund—moving ahead.

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1. Slips of the key...or pen

Small mistakes on a tax return can lead to big delays in getting your refund. Even a single digit that’s out of place on a Social Security number (SSN) for anyone on your return can slow things down. The same goes for misspellings of names. A letter that’s out of place, left out, or unreadable can put your return on pause. Some errors occur because of unclear handwriting, but others can be the result of rushing to finish your return. Sometimes slowing down can speed up your refund.

2. Things that don’t add up

It’s easy to make a simple math mistake on a tax return—adding a deduction instead of subtracting it, for example. The problem is that one error on a return can have a cascading effect, making other calculations incorrect as well. When things don’t add up, the IRS can call a time-out, slowing down your refund. To avoid simple mistakes, check your math. Even better, eliminate the problem altogether by e-filing your return and letting proven software like TurboTax do the math for you.

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3. Missing the target

Having the right number on the wrong line on your tax return is another small but costly error. For example, if you enter the amount of alimony you received on the line just below the right one, it will show up as a business income. This can cross-up the IRS, because business income should be accompanied by other business tax forms. The absence of the accompanying forms can delay the processing of your tax return and slow your refund.

To read more reasons why your tax refund could be delayed, visit Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions and do your calculations for you so that you can file with confidence.