How to Figure Out What an IRS Refund Check Is For

Did you recently receive a check from the IRS and you have no idea what it’s for? Maybe you want to make sure you understand why the IRS is sending you money before you deposit it.

All IRS Checks Include a Memo

Every check the IRS sends out has a memo and that memo will give you the period and the tax form that the refund relates to. By reading and decoding the memo, you can figure out what your IRS refund check is for. Also, if you earned interest on your refund, the memo will also give you the exact amount of interest you earned and over how many days.

We prepared a marked up image of an actual IRS check for you below.

  • OGDEN: The memo will always start off with the IRS center associated with the account/check – this field probably won’t mean too much to you.
  • 09/22: Next comes the period that the check relates to. 09/22 means Q3 2022 because the third quarter ends with September.
  • F-941: This is where things start to get juicy lol – the form that the refund relates to. We have listed the common ones on the image. F-941 will be a payroll return refund, 1040 will be related to an individual return and finally 1120 will be related to a corporate return.
    • If you are a business owner, it’s likely that the check will be made out to your business’ name if it relates to a business tax, such as payroll or corporate taxes and your personal name if associated with your personal taxes.
  • 74.36 INT: This is the amount of interest earned while this taxpayer waited for their refund.
  • 103 Days: This is how many days the interest accrued over.

Let Your Tax Pro Know

As with any correspondence with the IRS, you should let your tax professional know that you received the check. It can’t hurt to also include a copy of the check so your tax pro is aware and could even make sure it’s reported properly, if applicable, on your next return.

If you have any questions regarding checks you have received from the IRS, please reach out, we’d love to help!

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