Have Your Received Your Refund From the IRS?

If you haven't yet, you are definitely not alone!

Dear Friend:

It certainly has been a unique year for the IRS, hasn't it?

Tax processing, stimulus checks, changes in the tax law, child tax credit payments and that's just the first 6 months of 2021.

Due to these additional workload items, you may have noticed slower processing times from the IRS and may be wondering where your refund might be.

If so, you're not alone.

And here's what the IRS has to say about it directly from their newsroom.

“The IRS is opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review.

As of July 17, 2021, we had 15.6 million unprocessed individual returns. Unprocessed individual returns include tax year 2020 returns such as those requiring correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC)amount or validation of 2019 income used to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

This work does not require us to correspond with taxpayers but does require special handling by an IRS employee so, in these instances, it is taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund and in some cases this work could take 90 to 120 days.

If, as a result, a correction is made to any RRC, EITC or ACTC claimed on the return, the IRS will send taxpayers an explanation.

Taxpayers are encouraged to continue to check Where’s My Refund? for their personalized refund status and can review Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions.

How long you may have to wait: The IRS understands the importance of timely processing of tax returns and refund issuance. We have processed all error free returns received prior to April 2021 and continue to work the returns that need to be manually reviewed due to errors. 

We are continuing to reroute tax returns and taxpayer correspondence from locations that are behind to locations where more staff is available, and we are taking other actions to minimize any delays. Tax returns are opened and processed in the order received.

As the return is processed, whether it was filed electronically or on paper, it may be delayed because it has a mistake including errors concerning the Recovery Rebate Credit, is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud.

If we can fix it without contacting you, we will. If we need more information or need you to verify that it was you who sent the tax return, we will write you a letter.

The resolution of these issues could take 90 to 120 days depending on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the processing of your return.

What you should do: In most instances, no further action is needed but you may check Where’s my refund or you can view your account.

If you filed electronically and received an acknowledgement, you do not need to take any further action other than promptly responding to any requests for information.

If you filed on paper, check Where’s my refund? If it tells you we have received your return or are processing or reviewing it, we are processing your return, but it may be under review.

We’re working hard to get through the backlog. Please don’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.

Please note: When the IRS refers to an “error” on a taxpayer’s return, it does not necessarily mean it is a data entry error.  The “error” could be any number of issues, from a hiccup in the IRS’ e-file programming to an Economic Impact Payment the IRS issued but you never received.

Bottom line is if you haven’t yet received a refund you are expecting, please continue to be patient and watch the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? online tool for the most up-to-date information possible about the status of your return.”

We hope this information directly from the IRS is helpful.

Like you, we'll do our best to be patient with the IRS and hopefully they work through their workload sooner rather than later.

Thank you for reading,

Renee Berg, IRS Enrolled Agent