Taxes 2022: What is ‘Tax Topic 152’ and Does it Affect Your Tax Refund?

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Tax Topic 152 is an IRS reference code that some taxpayers may see when checking the status of their refund using the IRS’ ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool. Although Topic 152 doesn’t require the taxpayer to take additional steps, your return may require further review and it could take longer than the typical 21 days.

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If you see Topic 152, you may also get a message that reads, “We apologize, but your return processing has been delayed beyond the normal timeframe. You can continue to check back here for the most up to date information regarding your refund. We understand your tax refund is very important and we are working to process your return as quickly as possible,” according to CNET and as reported by Market Realist.

The IRS lists several common reasons for a delay:

  • Refunds from amended returns could take up to 20 weeks.
  • If you filed an injured spouse claim.
  • Refund claims with an application for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) attached.
  • It could take up to six months if you requested a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S by filing a Form 1040-NR.
  • The earliest Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit refunds were issued by March 1, but if there was an issue with your tax refund, it could take longer.
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Learn: Here’s the Average IRS Tax Refund Amount by State
Explore: How You Should Use Your 2022 Tax Refund, According To Experts

If you want to speak with an IRS representative, the status of your refund can be checked only if:

  • It’s been more than 21 days since you received your e-file acceptance notification.
  • It’s been more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return.
  • The Where’s My Refund? tool directs you to contact the IRS.

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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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