Tax refund update: How to track your money, deal with IRS backlog



Numerous challenges for the IRS have caused setbacks in issuing tax refunds on time this year. A recent National Taxpayer Advocate report confirmed that some 35 millions tax returns have yet to be processed and explained the long delays. In addition to dealing with 2020 tax returns in need of corrections or adjustments, the tax agency has also been disbursing stimulus checks, calculating other tax credits and refunding overpayment on 2020 unemployment compensation.

And then there’s the unprecedented situation brought on by the pandemic. The IRS is often taking much more than the standard 21 days to send refunds, with some taxpayers waiting months. Trying to get details by phone hasn’t proven too effective, as many callers wait on hold only to be told they can’t connect because of high call volumes. So what if you’re planning to use your tax refund for daily expenses or debt? How can you get information about your money?

We’ll walk you through viewing your personalized refund status online through IRS tracking tools and what to do if you’re waiting for a tax refund on jobless benefits as well. For more on economic relief aid, here are some ways to know if you qualify for the July 15 child tax credit. If you’re curious about future stimulus payments or the latest infrastructure deal, we can tell you about that as well. This story has been updated.

What’s causing tax refund delays 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 massive 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. Earlier in the tax season, some refunds were already taking longer than 21 days, including those that required manual processing. The IRS said it’s also taking more time for 2020 tax returns that need review, such as determining recovery rebate credit amounts 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 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.

How to track the status of your tax refund online

To check the status of your income tax refund using the IRS tracker tools, you’ll need to give some information: your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status — single, married or head of household — and your refund amount in whole dollars, 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 mailed your return) before you start tracking your refund.

Using the IRS tool Where’s My Refund, go to the Get Refund Status page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Submit. 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. The IRS updates the data in this tool overnight, so if you don’t see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the following day. Once your return and refund are approved, you’ll receive a personalized date to expect your money.

Where’s My Refund has information on the most recent tax refund that the IRS has on file within the past two years, so if you’re looking for return information from previous years you’ll need to contact the IRS for further help…Read more>>

Source:-cnet 

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