Yes, the IRS still sends tax refunds. Here’s how to follow yours and why there is a delay


The IRS is juggling refund processing with limited live support this summer.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Still waiting for your tax refund check to arrive in your bank account or by mail? Last week, the IRS announced that it had processed all tax returns received before 2021, as long as they were free of errors and did not need further review. Due to pandemic, the tax administration is still trying to catch up in processing 2020 returns that require corrections or adjustments. So what does it mean to you if you plan to use your repayment for daily expenses or to pay off debt?

There are also other things that cause delays. Advance child tax credit payments start July 15 and weekly bundles of dunning checks always come out (with additional refunds for taxed unemployment benefits), which means the IRS takes significantly longer than the standard 21 days to send out the refunds. It also states that you may just have to wait for the IRS to explain the special handling of your return, and that telephone correspondence will not speed up the process.

Fortunately, we can walk you through how to get your personalized refund status online, and review some handy FAQs. For More IRS Money, Here Are Several Ways To Find Out if you qualify for the child tax credit. And there are ways to follow your third raise check if it hasn’t happened. If you are curious about future stimulus payments or the last infrastructure agreement, we can also talk to you about it. This story receives regular updates.

What reasons could delay your tax refund?

Due to the pandemic, the IRS was operating at limited capacity in 2020, which strained its ability to process tax returns. The IRS is open again to process mail, tax returns, payments, refunds, and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays.

The IRS said it issues most refunds in less than 21 days. However, according to its FAQs, some take even longer, including paper tax returns in the mail and manual processing. The IRS said it is also taking longer for 2020 tax returns that require review, such as determining recovery rebate credit the amounts for the first and second stimulus checks – or by calculating the earned 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 can 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.

Track Your IRS Tax Refund Online Today

To check the status of your income tax refund using the IRS tracking tools, you will need to provide certain information: your social security number or your individual tax ID number, your tax status. deposit – single, married, or head of household – and your full dollar refund amount, 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’s My Refund tool, enter your SSN or ITIN, your deposit status and the exact amount of your refund, then press 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’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, as well as whether you filed 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.

IRS Tracker Status Messages You May See

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 as a paper check in your mailbox. (Here’s how change the address on file if you have moved.)

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How long you may have to wait to receive your 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 a problem delaying your return, resolution “depends on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS personnel trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the call. processing 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. This is where tracking your refund comes in handy.

Did you get an IRS TREAS 310 direct deposit to your bank account?

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see TREAS IRS 310 for the operation. The 310 identifies the transaction as an 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 cleared for past due debt.

Calling the IRS isn’t the best option you have

While you can try calling the IRS to verify your status, the agency’s live phone support is extremely limited at this time, so you’ll likely have to wait a while to speak to a representative. The IRS says it’s working hard to overcome the backlog, and you shouldn’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.

The IRS says you should only call if it has been 21 or more days since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where’s My Refund tool tells you to contact the IRS. Here is the number to call: 800-829-1040.

Why you might receive a paper check instead of a 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.

You can check your tax refund status online

Those who collected unemployment benefits in 2020 and filed their tax returns earlier began to receive additional tax refunds from the IRS. Under the new rules of American rescue plan Act of 2021, millions of people who have paid taxes on unemployment benefits could be eligible for a substantial refund.

However, it may not be possible 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 tax statement by logging into your account and looking at the transactions listed there. We explain how to do it here.

For more information on your 2020 taxes, here is how to claim the missing stimulus money on your taxes and know everything about third dunning check.

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