You probably got your third stimulus check months ago, but you may still be waiting for that other part of the change the IRS owes you: your tax refund.
As of June 5, the IRS had 18.2 million individual tax returns. A lot requires manual processing, which basically means that a human needs to review it.
To be clear, returns for most taxpayers who file electronically and receive refunds are processed within 21 days, according to the IRS. But if you’re still waiting and wondering “Where are my taxes refunded?” Here’s what happens and how you can track it.
Why did you not receive your tax refund
The 2020 tax season has been particularly complicated for IRS employees and accountants.
There were a number of complications created by the three stimulus bills, the most recent of which passed in the middle of tax season. Along with the usual chaos of tax season, the IRS has been tasked with delivering Third Stimulus Test. In addition, tax season began 16 days later than usual this year. These challenges prompted the IRS to Tax deadline extension Until 17 May.
For example, people who normally qualify for Received tax revenue, a credit for low- and middle-income working families, may not qualify in 2020 due to Expand unemployment benefits توسيع. The $900 billion stimulus package passed in December changed the rules to allow families to use 2019 income to qualify instead of 2020 income.
However, the IRS hasn’t had time to update its software to reflect this change, so if you’re seeking an earned income tax credit based on your 2019 income, the IRS employee will need to review it manually.
The same applies if you qualify for stimulus money from the first two checks based on your 2020 return that you did not qualify for based on your 2019 or 2018 return. For example, if your income for 2019 is higher than your income for 2020, you may qualify for more of stimulus money. or if you I gave birth to a baby in 2020You will get stimulus credits on their behalf. These situations also require manual review.
But tax refund may also be delayed for all the reasons that would apply in a normal year. For example, if your refund is sent to a bank account that has since closed, the IRS will cut a paper check for you at the end, but this adds to the waiting time. Your refund will also be delayed if you make a mistake or your return is incomplete.
If the IRS suspects fraud related to your return, you can also wait a long time to get your money back – which has been a growing problem for taxpayers. The IRS fraud filters indicated about 5.2 million returns for 2020, according to the Tax Lawyer Service. This is an increase of nearly 50% from 2019.
Most returns reported as fraud do not turn out to be fraudulent. But about 25% of returns flagged for income verification took 56 or more days to process in 2020. About 18% of those reported took more than 120 days for identity verification.
Paper returns require manual processing, so if you submit by paper, expect a long wait, even if there are no issues with your return.
If you make a mistake that requires an amended return, your tax season will be lengthened. The IRS will notify you of the error by mail, and you will have to submit Form 1040X. There is only one way to do this: by mail. Then, your adjusted return will be added to the 18.2 million unadjusted returns.
What to do if you are still waiting
The first step is to make sure that the IRS has actually received your return.
You can track your return using Where is my refund Feature on IRS website or file IRS2Go تطبيق Application. You will need to provide your Social Security number, enrollment status, and the exact refund amount.
But these tools have limited usefulness. If your return is processed, they will tell you when the refund will be deposited, but do not provide information on why the return is still being processed or whether you need to provide additional information, which has drawn criticism recently from Taxpayer Lawyer Service.
You should be able to see if the IRS has accepted your return within 24 hours if you file electronically. If the IRS accepts your return, it only means that they have confirmed receipt. The IRS has yet to process it.
If your return is flagged as fraud, you won’t be able to get specific information about the status of your return or when you can expect a refund using the IRS website and app, which has added to the frustration of many taxpayers.
If you have submitted a return paper, you can expect a long wait before you can confirm that the IRS has returned you. Even under normal circumstances, it can take up to four weeks to track a paper return.
The IRS says its employees will only help you look up the status of your refund if you filed it electronically more than three weeks ago or mailed it at least six weeks in advance, or if Where’s My Recovery tells you to call.
But only 1 in 4 taxpayers who called the IRS in 2020 had their phone call answered. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones dealing with a human, they probably won’t be able to give you much information. IRS systems do not tell employees who handle phone calls why returns require manual processing. But if you want to try, the recovery status check number is 800-829-1954.
Robin Hartell is a certified financial planner and senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. She writes a personal financial advice column Dear Penny. Send your tough financial questions to [email protected]