Still Looking For Your Refund?

Friday, October 09, 2020

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Many clients are waiting for their tax refunds, even though they were filed well in advance of the July 15th deadline. Electronic filing generally yields a refund check in about three weeks. However, this is no ordinary tax season.

Due to COVID and staffing shortages, the IRS is extremely backlogged. If you are using the Where's My Refund link, and getting a "still being processed" message - that is actually good news. Remember that tax returns, even those filed electronically, may need additional review for a number of reasons.

For example, if you filed on the early side and claimed the EITC or the additional child tax credit (ACTC), you will have to wait a bit longer for your refund. Often a return needs review because of an uncommon deduction, or the claim appears excessive, or there may be suspected identity theft. Owe back taxes, or made a mistake on your direct deposit info? These reasons may be why there is a delay. If the IRS has questions or needs more information, you will receive a letter explaining what it requires to move forward.

You can try to call 800-829-1954. If that doesn’t help and it’s been 21 days since the return was accepted by the IRS, then call the general toll-free number 800-829-1040. Under normal circumstances, it can take some time to get to a live IRS representative. It’s a frustrating experience. You will probably face a long wait or be steered to electronic messages that provide little insight into why your refund is delayed.

The good news is, since the original Tax Day was postponed due to the pandemic, the IRS will pay up to 5% interest on refunds issued after April 15. But you must have filed by July 15th.