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Instructions for Form 1040-A



Line 47(p61)


Amount Overpaid(p61)

If line 47 is under $1, we will send a refund only on written request.
Refund offset.(p61)
If you owe past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or certain federal nontax debts, such as student loans, all or part of the overpayment on line 47 may be used (offset) to pay the past-due amount. Offsets for federal taxes are made by the IRS. All other offsets are made by the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service. For federal tax offsets, you will receive a notice from the IRS. For all other offsets, you will receive a notice from the Fiscal Service. To find out if you may have an offset or if you have any questions about it, contact the agency to which you owe the debt.
Injured spouse.(p61)
If you file a joint return and your spouse hasn't paid past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan, part or all of the overpayment on line 47 may be used (offset) to pay the past-due amount. But your part of the overpayment may be refunded to you if certain conditions apply and you complete Form 8379. For details, use Tax Topic 203 or see Form 8379.

Lines 48a Through 48d(p61)


Amount Refunded to You(p61)

If you want to check the status of your refund, just use the IRS2Go phone app or go to See Refund Information, later. Information about your refund will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return, or 4 weeks after you mail your paper return. If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your 2017 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Where's My Refund will provide an actual personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund.
Effect of refund on benefits. (p61)
Any refund you receive can't be counted as income when determining if you or anyone else is eligible for benefits or assistance, or how much you or anyone else can receive, under any federal program or under any state or local program financed in whole or in part with federal funds. These programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps). In addition, when determining eligibility, the refund can't be counted as a resource for at least 12 months after you receive it. Check with your local benefit coordinator to find out if your refund will affect your benefits.
Fast Refunds! Join the eight in 10 taxpayers who choose direct deposit—a fast, simple, safe, secure way to have your refund deposited automatically to your checking or savings account, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA). See the information about IRAs, later.
If you want us to directly deposit the amount shown on line 48a to your checking or savings account, including an IRA, at a bank or other financial institution (such as a mutual fund, brokerage firm, or credit union) in the United States:
If you don't want your refund directly deposited to your account, don't check the box on line 48a. Draw a line through the boxes on lines 48b and 48d. We will send you a check instead.
Account must be in your name. (p61)
Don't request a deposit of your refund to an account that isn't in your name, such as your tax return preparer's account. Although you owe your tax return preparer a fee for preparing your return, don't have any part of your refund deposited into the preparer's account to pay the fee.
The number of refunds that can be directly deposited to a single account or prepaid debit card is limited to three a year. After this limit is reached, paper checks will be sent instead. Learn more at

Why Use Direct Deposit?(p61)

If you file a joint return and check the box on line 48a and attach Form 8888 or fill in lines 48b through 48d, your spouse may get at least part of the refund.
IRA. (p62)
You can have your refund directly deposited to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP-IRA, but not a SIMPLE IRA. You must establish the IRA at a bank or other financial institution before you request direct deposit. Make sure your direct deposit will be accepted. You also must notify the trustee or custodian of your account of the year to which the deposit is to be applied (unless the trustee or custodian won't accept a deposit for 2017). If you don't, the trustee or custodian can assume the deposit is for the year during which you are filing the return. For example, if you file your 2017 return during 2018 and don't notify the trustee or custodian in advance, the trustee or custodian can assume the deposit to your IRA is for 2018. If you designate your deposit to be for 2017, you must verify that the deposit was actually made to the account by the due date of the return (not counting extensions). If the deposit isn't made by that date, the deposit isn't an IRA contribution for 2017. In that case, you must file an amended 2017 return and reduce any IRA deduction and any retirement savings contributions credit you claimed.
You and your spouse, if filing jointly, each may be able to contribute up to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or older at the end of 2017) to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA for 2017, and the limits may be lower depending on your compensation and income. For more information on IRA contributions, see Pub. 590-A. You may owe a penalty if your contributions exceed these limits.
For more information on IRAs, see Pub. 590-A and Pub. 590-B.
You can request a deposit of your refund (or part of it) to a TreasuryDirect® online account to buy U.S. Treasury marketable securities and savings bonds. For more information, go to
Form 8888.(p62)
You can have your refund directly deposited into more than one account or use it to buy up to $5,000 in paper series I savings bonds. You don't need a TreasuryDirect® account to do this. For more information, see the Form 8888 instructions.
Line 48a.(p62)
You can't file Form 8888 to split your refund into more than one account or buy paper series I savings bonds if Form 8379 is filed with your return.
Line 48b.(p62)
The routing number must be nine digits. The first two digits must be 01 through 12 or 21 through 32. On the sample check below, the routing number is 250250025. Henry and Naomi Brown would use that routing number unless their financial institution instructed them to use a different routing number for direct deposits.
Ask your financial institution for the correct routing number to enter on line 48b if:
Line 48c.(p62)
Check the appropriate box for the type of account. Don't check more than one box. If the deposit is to an account such as an IRA, health savings account, brokerage account, or other similar account, ask your financial institution whether you should check the Checking or Savings box. You must check the correct box to ensure your deposit is accepted. If your deposit is to a TreasuryDirect® online account, check the Savings box.
Line 48d.(p62)
The account number can be up to 17 characters (both numbers and letters). Include hyphens but omit spaces and special symbols. Enter the number from left to right and leave any unused boxes blank. On the sample check above, the account number is 20202086. Don't include the check number.
If the direct deposit to your account(s) is different from the amount you expected, you will receive an explanation in the mail about 2 weeks after your refund is deposited.

Reasons Your Direct Deposit Request Will Be Rejected(p62)

The IRS isn't responsible for a lost refund if you enter the wrong account information. Check with your financial institution to get the correct routing and account numbers and to make sure your direct deposit will be accepted.

Line 49(p63)


Amount Applied to Your 2018 Estimated Tax(p63)

Enter on line 49 the amount, if any, of the overpayment on line 47 you want applied to your 2018 estimated tax. We will apply this amount to your account unless you include a statement requesting us to apply it to your spouse's account. Include your spouse's social security number in the statement.
This election to apply part or all of the amount overpaid to your 2018 estimated tax can't be changed later.