A recent report by the National Taxpayer Advocate reported that 35 million tax returns have yet to be processed. The IRS has stated in the past few months that it is experiencing unprecedented delays in processing returns as a result of the pandemic and increased workload in distributing economic stimulus relief payments and complaints. In fact, the backlog of requests and issues has gotten so bad that the IRS has even suggested taxpayers not call the IRS, as information is available online for most problems and there are longer than average wait times.
The Taxpayer Advocate has identified some reasons your return may be delayed:
- Access the “Where’s My Refund” tool here. Once you narrow down the status of the refund, you might be able to understand what’s causing the delay.
- Check if your refund is stolen or missing. You can report stolen or lost refunds here.
- Verify that your bank account information is correct to ensure your refund did not go to the wrong account. The IRS is not responsible in these cases. If your bank information was changed after your refund was signed and returned, it could be a sign of fraud.
- It’s possible that the IRS is holding your return. The IRS may not issue a credit or refund to you before February 15th, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return, TAS reports.
- Your refund was used to offset other debts.
- The IRS may be reviewing your return for additional information. More info can be found here.
If there is a delay due to a recovery rebate credit, earned income tax or additional child tax credit claimed on your return the IRS will send you a letter explaining the delay.
In addition, if you do wind up receiving your tax return via direct deposit, don’t fret if the transaction is labeled IRS TREAS 310 — this is simply for identification purposes to indicate an IRS tax refund in the form of an electronic payment, according to CNET. It could even refer to automatic tax adjustments or refunds related to tax-free unemployment benefits. However, if the transaction is labeled 499, this indicates that your refund has been offset for delinquent debt.
Most returns will not require any additional action taken by you if there is a delay. Should the IRS require any action on your part, it will notify you in a letter. It is important to note that unless the IRS directly contacts you regarding actions needed on your part, it can be a sign of potential fraud.
More From GOBankingRates:
- Follow Along With 31 Days of Living Richer
- Read About the Best Small Businesses in Your State
- What It Means To Live a Truly Rich Life and How To Achieve It
- How To Keep Your Financial Planning On Track in 2021
Last updated: July 15, 2021