The IRS has 35 million pending tax returns. Here’s how to track your money

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You can check the status of your refund using IRS tools online.

Angela Lang / CNET

The IRS faces many challenges that have resulted in setbacks in issuing tax refunds this year. A recent National Taxpayer Advocate report confirmed that some 35 million tax returns still needed to be processed and explained the long delays. The tax administration is more busy than usual at this time of year. Many 2020 tax returns require adjustments or corrections, the payment of stimulus checks, the calculation of other tax credits, and the repayment of overpayments on Unemployment benefits 2020.

And then there is the unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic. The IRS takes longer than the standard 21 days to send refunds – some taxpayers wait months. It is difficult to get live help over the phone because many callers are waiting on hold or are not connected due to high call volumes. What if you need your tax dollars to cover your debts or household expenses? How can you check the status of your money without calling the IRS?

We’ll explain how to view your personalized refund status online using IRS tracking tools and what to do if you’re also expecting a UI tax refund. To learn more about economic emergency aid, here are some ways to know if you qualify for child tax credit payments that begin next week. If you are curious about future stimulus payments or the last infrastructure agreement, we can talk to you about it too. This story was recently updated.

Why is there a tax refund delay this year?

Due to the pandemic, the IRS was operating at limited capacity in 2020, which strained its ability to process tax returns and created a massive backlog. The combination of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus payments, challenges with paper returns and the tasks of implementing new tax laws and new credits has caused a “perfect storm,” according to one. National Taxpayer Advocate Review of the 2021 Congress filing season.

The IRS is open again and is currently processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds, and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays. Earlier in tax season, some refunds were already taking more than 21 days, including those that required manual processing. The IRS said it is also taking longer for 2020 tax returns that need to be reviewed, such as the determination recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks – or by calculating the income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.

Here is a list of the reasons why your refund may be delayed:

  • Your tax return contains errors.
  • It is incomplete.
  • Your refund is suspected of identity theft or fraud.
  • You claimed the working income tax credit or the additional child tax credit.
  • Your return requires further consideration.
  • Your return includes Form 8379 (PDF), Injured Spouse’s Allowance – it may take up to 14 weeks to process.

If the delay is due to a necessary tax correction to a recovery refund credit, earned income tax, or additional child tax credit claimed on your return, the IRS will send you an explanation. If there is an issue that needs to be resolved, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. However, if he needs more information, he will write you a letter.

How to track the status of your refund online?

To check the status of your income tax refund using the IRS Tracking Tools, you’ll need to provide some information: your social security number or individual tax ID, your filing status – single, married, or head of household – and the amount of your full dollar refund, 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’ve mailed your return) before you start tracking your refund.

Using the IRS Where is my refund tool, go to the Get refund status page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your deposit status, and the exact amount of your refund, then tap Submit. If you have entered your information correctly, you will be redirected to a page showing the status of your refund. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all of the information looks correct, you will need to enter the date you filed your tax returns, as well as whether you filed them electronically or on paper.

The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks your tax refund status. The IRS updates this tool’s data overnight, so if you don’t see a change in status after 24 hours or more, check back the next day. Once your return and refund is approved, you will receive a personalized date to receive your money.

Where’s My Refund contains information on the most recent tax refund recorded by the IRS in the past two years. Therefore, if you are looking for information on returns from previous years, you will need to contact the IRS for assistance.

How do I check the status of unemployment tax refunds online?

Taxpayers who received unemployment benefits in 2020 and filed their tax returns earlier started receiving additional tax refunds from the IRS. Under the new rules of American rescue plan Act of 2021, millions of people who treated their unemployment benefit as income are eligible for tax relief and could get a large sum of money back.

However, it is not easy to track the status of this refund using the online tools above. To find out when the IRS processed your refund and for what amount, we recommend that you locate your transcript by login to your account and view the transactions listed there. we explain how to do that step by step.


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What is the wait time for a standard tax refund?

The IRS typically issues tax refunds within three weeks, but some taxpayers have waited months to receive their payments. If there are any errors, or if you have applied for an income tax credit or child tax credit, the wait can be quite long. If there is an issue that is delaying your return, resolution “depends on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the process. processing of your return “, according to its website.

The date you get your tax refund also depends on how you filed your return. For example, with refunds in your bank account by direct deposit, it may take an additional five days for your bank to send the money to your account. This means that if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to mail it, you could wait a total of 26 days to receive your money. If you’ve submitted your tax return in the mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive.

What Do IRS Tax Refund Status Messages Mean?

The two IRS tools (online and mobile app) will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed your refund amount, if you have one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank by direct deposit or in the form of a paper check sent to your mailbox. (Here’s how change the address on file if you have moved.)

What does an IRS TREAS 310 filing mean?

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see TREAS IRS 310 for the operation. The 310 identifies the transaction as IRS tax refund. This would also apply in the case of people benefiting from an automatic adjustment on their tax return or a refund due to the new legislation on tax-exempt unemployment benefits. You can also see TAX REF in the description field for a refund.

If you see a 449 instead, it means your repayment has been set off for past due debt.

What is the IRS phone number to verify a tax refund?

The IRS received 167 million calls this tax season, four times the number of calls in 2019. And based on the recent report, only seven percent of calls reached a phone agent for service. help. Although you can try calling the IRS to verify your status, the agency live phone support is extremely limited right now because the IRS says it is working hard to overcome the backlog. You do not have to 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 has been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where is my refund the tool tells you to contact the IRS. Here is the number to call: 800-829-1040.

Why will a refund come by mail instead of direct deposit?

There are several reasons why your refund will be mailed to you. Your money can only be deposited electronically into a bank account in your name, that of your spouse, or a joint account. If this is not the reason, you may receive multiple refund checks, and the IRS can only directly deposit three refunds into a single account. Additional refunds must be sent by mail. Finally, your bank can reject the deposit and this would be the best way for the IRS to pay your money back quickly.

For more information on your 2020 taxes, here is the latest news on federal unemployment benefits on your taxes and know everything about third dunning check.



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