Where’s my refund? There may be delays with tax returns for 2021

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ALBANY, NY (WTEN) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has warned of refund delays in what is expected to be a “frustrating” filing season for not only American taxpayers but professional taxpayers as well.

If this sounds familiar, you are not wrong.

Last year, taxpayers heard similar warnings, and some who filed their 2020 tax returns in February were still asking, “Where’s my refund?” Four months later, multiple preparers told Nexstar’s WTEN.

Some creators, who have spent years doing what they do, said they’ve never seen delays from the IRS for so long.

“I would say that about 1-2% of the federal returns we file experience an extreme delay in issuing the refund without an explanation from the IRS,” Chris Tretter, Tretter CPA, PC, told WTEN last June. “The same thing happened last year. I had never seen it before the pandemic.”

Communication with the IRS was also difficult last year, compounding the problem. It was frustrating for taxpayers and doubly so for preparers as they took calls from clients and tried to get answers from the IRS.

Certified Financial Planner Ed Canty said the delays extended to federal and state returns, with long delays processing more complicated returns involving items like multiple sources of income, unemployment and rental property.

Unfortunately, there may be further delays this year.

The IRS is struggling to keep up. As of the start of this tax season, they had more than 18 million unprocessed returns and correspondence, totaling more than 23 million items in arrears, according to U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a member of the U.S. Senate Speaking at a hearing on February on customer service issues within the IRS.

More than 250 million calls went unanswered to the IRS in 2021, and people who got through spent more than 23 minutes on hold waiting for a representative, Senator Crapo said. “By any measure, the 2022 tax filing season will be the most challenging and frustrating in decades, following the challenging 2020 and 2021 tax filing seasons. In 2021, just over one in 10 Americans have ever been able to reach the IRS by phone.”

However, most people who file electronically see their refunds within 21 days if they are correct, the IRS says.

Streamlining the refund process

To expedite the processing of tax returns and the issuance of refunds, according to the IRS, people should:

  • Submit electronically with direct deposit for the fastest refund.
  • Visit IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including economic impact payments.
  • Read the Recovery Rebate Credit Policy carefully.
  • Stimulus prepayments received separately are not taxable and will not reduce the taxpayer’s reimbursement upon filing in 2021.

Reasons why a refund may take longer than 21 days:

  • errors, such as B. Incorrect Refund Credit Information
  • The return is incomplete
  • The return generally requires further verification
  • The return is affected by identity theft or fraud
  • The tax return includes an entitlement to an earned income tax credit or an additional child tax credit
  • The return includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation pdfwhich can take up to 14 weeks to process
    *Source: IRS website

“Planning for the national filing season process is a massive undertaking, and the IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for it and make economic impact payments in record time,” Commissioner Chuck Rettig said when the IRS announced the start of the taxation season. “This start date will ensure people get their needed tax refunds quickly, while also ensuring they get any remaining stimulus payments they’re entitled to as soon as possible.”

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