8.5 Million Tax Refunds Have Yet to Be Sent – What To Do If You Haven’t Received Yours

Men hands holding a US Government Treasury check.
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Some taxpayers have been waiting months upon months for their tax refunds. The IRS announced earlier in September that the agency is dealing with a backlog of roughly 8.5 million individual returns, including 2020 returns with errors and amended returns that require corrections or special handling. Refunds typically take 21 days to process, although the IRS said that delays could take 120 days, according to CNET.

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In addition to delayed refunds, the IRS has also been handling stimulus checks, child tax credit payments and refunds for tax overpayment on unemployment benefits. Many Americans are depending on these payments, including their tax refund, but reaching the agency by phone isn’t so easy.

“We’re open and processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence. However, COVID-19 continues to cause delays in some of our services,” the agency said.

CNET reported that reasons for a delayed return include:

  • Your tax return has errors
  • It’s incomplete
  • Your refund is suspected of identity theft or fraud
  • You filed for the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit
  • Your return needs further review
  • Your return includes Form 8379, injured spouse allocation and could take up to 14 weeks to process

Save for Your Future

If there’s a delay due to a necessary correction, the IRS will try to contact you by mail. If there is an issue holding up your return, the 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 processing of your return,” according to the IRS website.

See: Tax Relief: Here’s Who Qualifies So Far for Hurricane Ida Tax Breaks From the IRS
Find: IRS ‘Math Error’ Notices Soar Due to Stimulus Payments — Are Child Tax Credits Next?

The best solution is to track your refund status online using the Where’s My Refund tool or check your IRS account. 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, you can call 800-829-1040 or 800-829-8374 during regular business hours.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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