Still No Tax Refund? These Issues Could Lead to Extended Delays

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Most tax returns are issued in less than 21 calendar days, but certain cases require additional time to review.

Avoid Tax Refund Delays: Follow These 6 Simple Methods
Learn: Reasons You Might Not Get a Tax Refund This Year

According to the IRS, the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool on and the IRS2Go mobile app has the most up-to-date information regarding your refund status. You can also check the IRS Operations Status page for the latest information on IRS refund processing.

The IRS states that some refunds from 2020 tax returns may require additional review, mainly those using incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amounts or 2019 income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

Other reasons include when a return:

  • Includes errors
  • Is incomplete
  • Needs further review
  • Is affected by identity theft or fraud
  • Includes a claim filed for an EITC or ACTC
  • Includes a Form 8379 — Injured Spouse Allocation — which could take up to 14 weeks to process

The IRS will contact you by mail when/if more information is needed to process your tax return. If the IRS is still processing your return, neither the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool or an IRS representative will be able to provide a specific date. It could take several days for your status to change to refund approved. The tool is only updated once per day, usually at night.

Make Your Money Work

See: Earn the Maximum Tax Refund With These Two Tips for Your 2021 Filing
Tax Refunds: How Do Nearly Half of Americans Plan To Use Their Money?

After your return is processed and approved, the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool and the IRS2Go mobile app will give you a personalized date when to expect your refund. The IRS says to wait five days after your refund has been sent to check with your bank about your refund. The time it takes banks to credit funds varies. If you’re expecting a refund check in the mail, it could take several weeks.

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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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