Last month’s National Taxpayer Advocate report confirmed that some 35 million tax returns have yet to be processed. Several factors have contributed to a massive IRS backlog this year, including disruptions caused by the pandemic. On top of adjusting and correcting heaps of tax returns from last year, the tax agency has been disbursing stimulus checks, calculating other tax credits and refunding overpayment of taxes on.
Since there’s no guarantee you’ll get live assistance by phone (many callers wait on hold or aren’t connected due to high call volumes), what should you do if you need your tax money to cover debt or household expenses? How can you check the status of your money online without calling the IRS? Can you check your tax refund on 2020 unemployment benefits the same way? What does it mean if you got an IRS TREAS 310 transaction this week?
We’ll do our best to answer all of these questions for you. For more on economic relief aid, here are some ways to knowfor the child tax credit payments that went out this week. If you’re curious about or the latest , we can tell you about that, too. This story is updated frequently.
If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see IRS TREAS 310 for the transaction. The 310 simply identifies the transaction as an IRS tax refund in the form of an electronic payment. This would also apply to the case of those receiving an automatic adjustment on their tax return or a refund due to March legislation on tax-free unemployment benefits. You may also see TAX REF in the description field for a refund.
If you see a 449 instead, it means your refund has been offset for delinquent debt.
What’s causing delays in issuing tax refunds this year?
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 caused a “perfect storm,” according to a National Taxpayer Advocate review of the 2021 filing season to Congress.
The IRS is open again and currently processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays. The IRS said it’s also taking more time for 2020 tax returns that need review, such as determiningamounts for the first and second stimulus checks — or figuring earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.
Here’s a list of reasons your income tax refund might be delayed:
- Your tax return has errors.
- It’s incomplete.
- 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 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…Read more>>