Was it exactly $500 less; i.e, that nice round figure?
Make sure you are comparing it to the correct figure.
Look at your Federal Form 1040, Line 21a for your Federal refund amount. Don't go by any total refund amount that TurboTax might have shown you at the Tax Home, which includes the sum/net of Federal and state together (if applicable). Does a state refund account for the difference you were expecting?
If you are receiving both Federal and State refunds, make sure which one you received.
Did you have any TurboTax fees that you chose to pay out of your Federal refund? If so, in addition to your product fees there is a $40 service vee ($45 for California filers), however that wouldn't explain all of a $500 difference, since your fees wouldn't have been that high.
If the IRS reduced your refund, you should get a letter from them in 3 weeks or so, but with the Coronavirus situation, correspondence may take longer. If there was an offset, there "might" be a note at the "Where's My Refund" tool:
Trying to figure out why my federal return is exactly $500 less then projected. Im seeing a lot of people asking the same question with $500 less. I don't understand.Please break it down for me in lamens terms. Thank you
Could be a lot of things, but I would examine the 500 stimulus payment for a dependent.
The TurboTax program is accurate, but can only calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit by what you report in the program.
If the IRS shows a payments was made which you claimed as not received, or the IRS determines a dependent on your return should not be claimed, that could adjust your refund by 500.
Please look at your 1040 line 30 to see the amount of credit the program calculated.
The IRS will send you a letter explaining the adjustment.
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