Missing your IRS tax refund cash? Here’s why it’s delayed and what to do now

You can obtain the IRS2Go app to verify your tax refund standing. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Tax refunds are taking longer than regular this 12 months. If you are still ready, you are not alone. Millions have been ready for months, and some are nonetheless ready for an indication that the cash is on the best way. The pandemic has led to a backlog of practically 35 million unprocessed returns, as reported in June by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, together with people who should nonetheless be reviewed. 

That does not embrace 2.2 million stimulus checks, tax breaks and 15 billion going out with the expanded child tax credit funds. Even although this cash could assist some households, a tax refund could be an enormous reduction. The excellent news is that the tax company simply issued one other spherical of refunds for overpayment of taxes on 2020 unemployment compensation.

So the place’s your cash? We’ll clarify how to observe your verify utilizing the Where’s My Refund instrument and verify your unemployment refund standing with your tax transcript. It’s additionally a good suggestion to see if you qualify for youngster tax credit score funds for some extra cash (The subsequent fee is Aug. 13). If you are inquisitive about the potential of future stimulus payments or the most recent infrastructure deal, we will inform you about that, too. This story is up to date frequently. 

Why are tax refunds taking so lengthy this 12 months?

Because of the pandemic, the IRS ran at restricted capability in 2020, which put a pressure on its capability to course of tax returns and created a backlog. The mixture of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus funds, challenges with paper-filed returns and the duties associated to implementing new tax legal guidelines and credit created a “perfect storm,” in accordance to a National Taxpayer Advocate review of the 2021 submitting season to Congress. 

The IRS is open once more and presently processing mail, tax returns, funds, refunds and correspondence, however restricted sources proceed to trigger delays. The IRS mentioned it’s additionally taking extra time for 2020 tax returns that want review, comparable to figuring out recovery rebate credit quantities for the primary and second stimulus checks — or determining earned revenue tax credit score and extra youngster tax credit score quantities.

Here’s an inventory of causes your revenue tax refund is perhaps delayed: 

  • Your tax return has errors.
  • It’s incomplete.
  • Your refund is suspected of id theft or fraud.
  • You filed for the earned revenue tax credit score or extra youngster tax credit score.
  • Your return wants additional review.
  • Your return contains Form 8379 (PDF), injured partner allocation — this might take up to 14 weeks to course of.

If the delay is due to a obligatory tax correction made to a restoration rebate credit score, earned revenue tax or extra youngster tax credit score claimed on your return, the IRS will ship you an evidence. If there’s an issue that wants to be mounted, the IRS will first attempt to proceed with out contacting you. However, if it wants any extra data, it would write you a letter. 

How can I observe my IRS tax refund standing on-line?

To verify the standing of your 2020 revenue tax refund utilizing the IRS tracker tools, you will want to give some data: your Social Security quantity or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your submitting standing — single, married or head of family — and your refund quantity in complete {dollars}, which you’ll find on your tax return. Also, make certain it’s been not less than 24 hours (or up to 4 weeks in the event you mailed your return) earlier than you begin monitoring your refund. 

Using the IRS instrument Where’s My Refund, go to the Get Refund Status web page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your submitting standing and your precise refund quantity, then press Submit. If you entered your data appropriately, you will be taken to a web page that reveals your refund standing. If not, chances are you’ll be requested to confirm your private tax information and attempt once more. If all the knowledge appears right, you will want to enter the date you filed your taxes, together with whether or not you filed electronically or on paper.

The IRS additionally has a cellular app known as IRS2Go that checks your tax refund standing — it’s out there in English and Spanish. You’ll have the option to see if your return has been obtained, authorised and despatched. In order to login, you will want some data — your Social Security quantity, your submitting standing and anticipated refund quantity. The IRS updates the information on this instrument in a single day, so in the event you do not see a standing change after 24 hours or extra, verify again the next day. Once your return and refund are authorised, you will obtain a personalised date to anticipate your cash. 

Where’s My Refund has data on the newest tax refund that the IRS has on file inside the previous two years, so in the event you’re on the lookout for return data from earlier years you will want to contact the IRS for additional assist. 

How for much longer till my tax refund arrives?

The IRS normally points tax refunds inside three weeks, however some taxpayers have been ready months to obtain their funds. If there are any errors, or in the event you filed a declare for an earned revenue tax credit score or the child tax credit, the wait might be fairly prolonged. If there is a matter holding up your return, the decision “depends 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,” according to its website

The date you get your tax refund additionally is determined by the way you filed your return. For instance, with refunds going into your bank account via direct deposit, it may take a further 5 days for your financial institution to publish the cash to your account. This means if it took the IRS the total 21 days to difficulty your verify and your financial institution 5 days to publish it, you could possibly be ready a complete of 26 days to get your cash. If you submitted a tax return by mail, the IRS says it may take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive.

What do these IRS statuses imply for your tax refund?

Both IRS instruments (on-line and cellular app) will present you certainly one of three messages to clarify your tax return standing.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to course of it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the quantity of your refund, in the event you’re owed one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its manner to your financial institution by way of direct deposit or as a paper verify despatched to your mailbox. (Here’s how to change the address on file if you’ve moved.)

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How can I check my 2020 unemployment refund status?

If you think there’s a delay in adjusting your tax return and getting a refund for the 2020 unemployment compensation, it might still be too soon to worry. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, implemented in March, excluded up to $10,200 in 2020 unemployment compensation from taxable income calculations for individuals and married couples who earned less than $150,000. That means taxpayers who treated their unemployment compensation as income are eligible for a tax break and could get a hefty sum of money back. 

In late May, the IRS began automatically correcting returns for those who overpaid taxes on those benefits, and the process is supposed to continue throughout the summer for the 13 million taxpayers who might be eligible. According to the IRS, the first batch for more than 2.8 million refunds went out in early June, and another batch of nearly 4 million refunds started to go out in mid-July. That means that millions more will still have to wait a bit longer. 

However, it’s not easy to track the status of that refund using the online tools above. To find out when the IRS processed your refund and for how much, we recommend locating your tax transcript by logging in to your account and viewing the transactions listed. We explain how to do that step by step and what else you need to know here

What does IRS TREAS 310 mean?

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see IRS TREAS 310 for the transaction. The 310 code simply identifies the transaction as a refund from a filed tax return in the form of an electronic payment (direct deposit). This would also apply to those receiving an automatic adjustment on their tax return or a refund due to March legislation on tax-free unemployment benefits. You may also see TAX REF in the description field for a refund.

If you received IRS TREAS 310 combined with a CHILD CTC description, that means the money is for a monthly advance payment for the enhanced child tax credit

If you see a 449 instead of 310, it means your refund has been offset for delinquent debt.

Should I call the IRS to check the status of my refund?

The IRS received 167 million calls this tax season, which is four times the number of calls in 2019. And based on the recent report, only seven percent of calls reached a telephone agent for help. While you could try calling the IRS to check your status, the agency’s live phone assistance is extremely limited right now because the IRS says it’s working hard to get through the backlog. You shouldn’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return. 

Even though the chances of getting live assistance are slim, the IRS says you should only call if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where’s My Refund tool tells you to contact the IRS. Here’s the number to call: 800-829-1040. 

Will my tax refund come by direct deposit or via mail?

There are a couple of reasons that your refund would be mailed to you. Your money can only be electronically deposited into a bank account with your name, your spouse’s name or a joint account. If that’s not the reason, you may be getting multiple refund checks, and the IRS can only direct deposit up to three refunds to one account. Additional refunds must be mailed. Also, your bank may reject the deposit and this would be the IRS’ next best way to refund your money quickly. 

It’s also important to note that for refunds like the child tax credit, direct deposit isn’t always automatic. Some are now claiming that like the stimulus checks, the first payments for the child tax credit are being mailed. Just in case, parents should sign in to the IRS portal to check that it has their correct banking information. If not, parents can add it for the next payment in August.

For more information about your money, here’s the latest on federal unemployment benefits and how the child tax credit could impact your taxes in 2022

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