Where is my damn IRS tax refund? New answers emerge as delays frustrate millions

When you’re one of many millions of people that filed your 2020 tax return early in hopes of getting a speedier refund this 12 months, this in all probability gained’t come as a shock, however the Inside Income Service is a bit of backed up. It’s been greater than two months for the reason that company started accepting returns electronically, and but though it insisted—and nonetheless insists—that the majority taxpayers with direct deposit obtain their refunds inside 21 days, that hasn’t been the expertise for a lot of who’re nonetheless ready.

Now new particulars are rising about the reason for the backlog. In a blog post final week, the Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate (NTA)—an impartial workplace inside the IRS—shed some gentle on the uniquely advanced set of circumstances dealing with IRS staffers this 12 months.

For instance, let’s begin with these stimulus checks. Many taxpayers who didn’t obtain one, or didn’t obtain the complete quantity, have been eligible to assert their stimulus verify as a credit score on their 2020 tax returns. However calculating how a lot you’re truly owed could be difficult, and if what you declare doesn’t match the IRS’s information, that would set off a guide overview. Opinions decelerate processing occasions and due to this fact decelerate refunds.


And plenty of issues can set off a overview. In its annual report back to Congress, the NTA already defined how returns which are flagged for privateness points or easy identification verification may end up in delayed refunds for taxpayers. In its newest weblog submit, the NTA will get into extra element about why this 12 months has been particularly troublesome. One other difficulty: adjustments to the tax regulation as a results of the December stimulus package deal, which was handed on December 27, 2020, and which left the IRS scrambling to replace its programs.

“As a result of late passage of the regulation, the IRS was unable to well timed alter its types and laptop programs earlier than the beginning of the submitting season to permit for systemic processing of returns the place taxpayers elected to make use of 2019 earnings,” the submit reads. “Thus, the IRS needed to create a guide course of as a substitute.”

“Handbook course of” is not a time period you wish to hear if you’re coping with info on this scale.

The submit goes on to report that the IRS is at the moment holding 29 million tax returns for guide processing. (Notice that when Quick Firm requested the IRS about delays as far again as early March, it downplayed the problem, however consider, it is an underfunded company that may work solely so quick.)

For taxpayers who’re nonetheless ready for a refund, the NTA’s new report gained’t get cash into their financial institution accounts any faster, however it’s price a learn for anybody looking for to grasp the magnitude of our present bureaucratic tax mess.

Learn the complete submit here.