Where’s my refund? Here’s why your income tax money is taking longer than usual

Where’s my refund? Here’s why your income tax money is taking longer than usual

It’s taking longer than usual this year for the IRS to process federal income tax refunds — there were nearly 35 million unprocessed returns in June reported by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which includes returns that are still being reviewed. So what’s the issue? The deposits are taking longer than usual this year because of other payments — stimulus checks and child tax credit payments. There were over 2.2 million stimulus checks sent, tax breaks and $15 billion in child tax credit checks.

The IRS recently posted an update on its website saying it’s taking longer than three weeks to process online tax returns. Fortunately, there are a few ways to check the status of your return and refund check. And the IRS has issued another round of refunds for overpayment of taxes on 2020 unemployment compensation.

So what’s the latest on tax refunds? How can you check the status of your refund? We’ll explain how to use the Where’s My Refund tool to track your money and check your unemployment refund status with your tax transcript. It’s also a good idea to see if you qualify for child tax credit payments. If you’re curious about the future of stimulus payments or what the Senate passing the infrastructure deal means for you, we can tell you about that too. This story is updated on a regular basis.

 Why are federal tax refund checks still delayed?

Because of the pandemic, the IRS ran at restricted capacity in 2020, which put a strain on its ability to process tax returns and created a backlog. The combination of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus payments, challenges with paper-filed returns and the tasks related to implementing new tax laws and credits created a “perfect storm,” according to a National Taxpayer Advocate review of the 2021 filing season to Congress.

The IRS is open again and currently processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays. The IRS said it’s also taking more time for 2020 tax returns that need review, such as determining recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks — or figuring out earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.

Here’s a list of reasons your income tax refund might be delayed:

  • Your tax return has errors.
  • It’s incomplete.
  • Your refund is suspected of identity theft or fraud.
  • You filed for the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit.
  • Your return needs further review.
  • Your return includes Form 8379 (PDF), injured spouse allocation — this could take up to 14 weeks to process.

If the delay is due to a necessary tax correction made to a recovery rebate credit, earned income tax or additional child tax credit claimed on your return, the IRS will send you an explanation. If there’s a problem that needs to be fixed, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. However, if it needs any more information, it will write you a letter.

How do I check the status of my tax refund check online?

To check the status of your 2020 income tax refund using the IRS tracker tools, you’ll need to give some information: your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status — single, married or head of household — and your refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return. Also, make sure it’s been at least 24 hours (or up to four weeks if you mailed your return) before you start tracking your refund.

Using the IRS tool Where’s My Refund, go to the Get Refund Status page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Submit. If you entered your information correctly, you’ll be taken to a page that shows your refund status. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.

The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks your tax refund status — it’s available in English and Spanish. You’ll be able to see if your return has been received, approved and sent. In order to login, you’ll need some information — your Social Security number, your filing status and expected refund amount. The IRS updates the data in this tool overnight, so if you don’t see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the following day. Once your return and refund are approved, you’ll receive a personalized date to expect your money.

Where’s My Refund has information on the most recent tax refund that the IRS has on file within the past two years, so if you’re looking for return information from previous years you’ll need to contact the IRS for further help…Read more>>



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