Where’s My Refund???
Across the US, many families are still waiting to get their federal income tax refunds. There are a few reasons for this: Stimulus checks, child tax credit payments and the pandemic. If you still haven’t received your money, you’re not alone. As of June, there were nearly 35 million unprocessed returns reported by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, including those returns that are still being reviewed.
Because of the pandemic, the IRS ran at restricted capacity in 2020, which put a strain on its ability to process tax returns and created a backlog. The combination of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus payments, challenges with paper-filed returns and the tasks related to implementing new tax laws and credits created a “perfect storm,” according to a National Taxpayer Advocate review of the 2021 filing season to Congress.
Limited resources continue to cause delays. The IRS said it takes more time to review 2020 tax returns to determine recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks — or figuring out earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.
Here’s a list of reasons your income tax refund might be delayed:
- 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 tax return has errors.
- It’s incomplete.
- Your return includes Form 8379 (PDF), injured spouse allocation — this could take up to 14 weeks to process.
If the delay is due to a necessary tax correction made to a recovery rebate credit, earned income tax or additional child tax credit claimed on your return, the IRS will send you an explanation. If there’s a problem that needs to be fixed, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. However, if it needs any more information, it will write you a letter.
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 working under social distancing requirements to complete the processing of your return.
How can I track my income tax money online?
- Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number
- your filing status – single, married or head of household
- refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return.
- Allow at least 24 hours (or up to four weeks if you mailed your return).
If you entered your information correctly, you’ll be taken to a page that shows your refund status. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.
The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks your tax refund status — it’s available in English and Spanish. You’ll be able to see if your return has been received, approved and sent. To login, you’ll need your Social Security number, your filing status and expected refund amount.
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