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Why Are My Taxes Taking So Long

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How Long Does It Take To Get Your Tax Refund

Why is your tax return taking so long?

Many Americans look forward to receiving their tax refund each year to help make important personal finance decisions, and you may be wondering how soon youll get yours. The time it takes to receive your tax refund can vary based on several factors, including when and how you file your tax return.

According to the IRS, the best way to avoid delays on your tax refund is to file an accurate tax return using e-file software to file electronically and opting to receive your refund via direct deposit. Most filers who use this method should receive their refunds within 21 days of submitting their return online.

If you mail your return, you can expect to receive your refund in about six to eight weeks from the date the IRS receives your return. You can choose to receive your refund as a check in the mail, but keep in mind that you will likely receive your refund anywhere from a few days to a few weeks later than you would have with direct deposit due to transit time.

Whether filed electronically or on paper, all returns are opened and processed by the IRS in the order they are received, so the earlier you file your taxes, the earlier youll receive a refund.

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Katie Teague


Katie is a Writer at CNET, covering all things how-to. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.

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Peter is a writer and editor for the CNET How-To team. He has been covering technology, software, finance, sports and video games since working for @Home Network and Excite in the 1990s. Peter managed reviews and listings for during the 2000s, and is passionate about software and no-nonsense advice for creators, consumers and investors.

If you filed your tax returnelectronically and were due a refund, you probably already received it. The IRS reported that it’s processed 97% of the more than 145 million returns it received this year and issued a few more than 96 million refunds.

As a result, delays in completing paper returns have been running from six months up to one year.

Some Tax Refunds May Be Delayed This Year Heres Why

Three weeks before the official end of tax season, the IRS has issued nearly 50 million tax refunds. But many others are still waiting for a refund. In addition, the agency has a backlog of nearly 7.5 individual tax returns its processing from prior years far more than the 1 million it usually has going into a tax season.

Heres why some refunds might be taking longer this year and what taxpayers might do about it.

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What About My State Tax Refund

What weve covered so far applies to federal tax refunds. As you might expect, every state does things a little differently when it comes to issuing tax refunds and its not possible to say for sure when everyone will receive their state tax refunds. Although, state refunds often come faster than those being processed through the federal system. This isnt always the case, but it often is.

Generally, you can expect to receive your state tax refund within 30 days if you filed your tax return electronically. If you filed a paper tax return, it may take as many as 12 weeks for your refund to arrive. To find out the status of your refund, youll need to contact your state tax agency or visit your states Department of Revenue website.

When Are Taxes Due


For most years, the deadline to submit your tax return and pay your tax bill is April 15. However, taxes for 2021 were required to be filed by April 18, 2022, due to a legal holiday in Washington D.C. Residents of Massachusetts and Maine had until April 19, 2022.

For those that were unable to meet the tax filing deadline for the year, there was an option to file for a six-month extension. This would put your extension deadline to file your taxes at October 17, 2o22, but the sooner you file, the sooner you can receive your tax refund.

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Why Is It Taking So Long

If youre expecting to receive a tax refund and over 21 days have passed since the initial filing, then its likely your return is taking longer to process.

The IRS aims to have returns sent within 21 calendar days of receiving, but they also note that refunds can be delayed due to issues with processing.

Your refund may be delayed due to an error in application, or an incomplete tax return. In this scenario, you are likely to receive further instructions from the IRS, detailing how to proceed.

Additionally, a refund may be delayed if youve claimed for Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit .

These returns are unable to be issued until mid-February, and have to be held by the IRS until then under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 .

If you have claimed these refunds, then the IRS expects them to be available by early March. However, any other issues with the application might further delay a refund.

Check Wheres My Refund?, which should provide details related to ACTC or EITC returns.

A refund may also be delayed if the IRS suspects possible identity theft or tax fraud. You can expect to hear from the IRS directly if this is the case.

Alternatively, if you have filed a paper return, you may be stuck in a backlog. If you want a speedy return, its better to file electronically.

These tend to be processed quicker, allowing you access to your refund faster.

How To Find The Current Status Of My Refund

The Wheres My Refund? tool lets you check the status of your refund through the IRS website or the IRS2Go mobile app. If you submit your tax return electronically, you can check the status of your refund within 24 hours. But if you mail your tax return, youll need to wait at least four weeks before you can receive any information about your tax refund. Keep in mind that usually, you can file your taxes in January.

In order to find out the status of your tax refund, youll need to provide your Social Security number , filing status and the exact dollar amount of your expected refund. If you accidentally enter the wrong SSN, it could trigger an IRS Error Code 9001. That may require further identity verification and delay your tax refund.

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Why Is My Return Taking So Long To Process

No one would know why your return says “still processing”, not even TurboTax. Only the IRS has the answers. “Being processed”, means the IRS must first process your return and then approve your refund. It’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer.

You can keep checking the IRS website, Where’s My Refund, they only update once a day, usually at night, so checking it more than once day will have no changes.

Why Could Tax Refunds Be Delayed

Heres why your tax refund is taking so long

There are a number of reasons a refund might be held back. Math errors or simple typos are often responsible. Common mistakes the IRS has flagged as leading to delays include: selecting an incorrect filing status forgetting to list all income including bank interest and unemployment compensation not answering a question on trading cryptocurrency or having a typo in your name, address, Social Security number or bank account number.

This year, the pandemics Economic Impact Payments also known as stimulus checks are creating an extra hurdle for taxpayers, leading to a significantly higher error rate on returns, according to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

Filers will need to correctly enter any stimulus payments they received and the numbers will need to match up with IRS records. However, far more than 10 million Americans have put in numbers that dont match up, leading to delays, Rettig told Congress last week.

Other delays are due to Congress changing the tax law to allow Americans to use 2019 or 2020 income to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. This change took place after the IRS had already updated its IT systems for the 2021 tax year, Rettig noted, meaning that taxpayers who take advantage of that law will need to have their returns manually reviewed by an IRS staffer.

Understaffing is also taking a toll, with shrinking headcount at the IRS close to levels not seen since 1974, according to Rettig.

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How To Use The Irs2go App To Track Your Return

The IRS2Go app is available for both iOS and Android.

The IRS also has a mobile app, IRS2Go, which checks your tax refund status. It’s available for both iOS and Android and in English and Spanish. Using it, you’ll be able to see if your return was been received and approved and if a refund was sent.

To log in, you’ll need your Social Security number, filing status and the expected amount of your refund. The IRS updates the app overnight, so if you don’t see a status change, check back the following day.

How Can I Track My Refund Using The Where’s My Refund Tool

To use the IRS tracker tools, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number your filing status and your refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return. Make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before you start tracking your refund, or up to four weeks if you mailed your return.

Go to the Get Refund Status page on the IRS website and enter your personal data, then press Submit. You should 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.

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Worries Build Among Families And Friends Who Filed Paper Returns

The anxiety has been huge the last few months for those who filed paper returns in 2022.

JoAnn Marino, of Washington Township, began worrying when a few family members called her saying they did not get their federal income tax refunds yet they’re OK with the State of Michigan when she filed paper returns for them back in early April.

A nephew is getting married in November and fears that he won’t get an estimated refund of around $3,600 in time to cover some of those big wedding bills.

His sister is expecting a tax refund of around $1,000 and could use the extra cash now to cover some down payments for a wedding next year.

She retired during the pandemic from her job in financial services and figures she can take up to 12 hours or so early in the year to prepare tax returns for her family, including her mother. Most of them have pretty basic returns she uses a CPA for her own return.

“They’re young, single,” she said of some family members. “My nephew doesn’t even own a home.”

“We’ve always filed some of them by paper and it’s never been an issue,” she said. “All of the e-filed returns have been processed.”

The IRS doesn’t post information for paper returns at “Where’s My Refund?” until those returns are processed. “Wheres My Refund?” does not explain any status delays, reasons for delays, where returns stand in the processing pipeline, or what action taxpayers need to take, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s report.

My Spouse Has Passed Away And My Tax Refund Check Was Issued In Both Names How Can I Get This Corrected

2012 tax filing requirements

Since a joint return was filed, the refund check must be issued jointly. When presenting the check for payment, you may want to include a copy of the death certificate to show you as surviving spouse. You may return the check to the Department and we will include “Surviving Spouse” and “Deceased” next to the respective names on the check. Should you need to return the check, please mail to: NC Department of Revenue, Attn: Customer Service, P O Box 1168, Raleigh NC 27602-1168.

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Does Still Being Processed Mean Audit

If my refund on the IRS website says still processing does it mean I will be audited? There’s absolutely no reason to necessarily think that you’re under review or that an audit is pending, so please don’t worry. The “processing” message you see is perfectly normal. In fact, the messages and bars on the IRS.

Reasons Why Your Irs Refund May Be Delayed

  • Additional identity or random security checks especially if fraudulent activities were associated with your filing in the past that means your return gets flagged for further reviews
  • Amended returns require additional, and manual processing, which can see refunds delayed for up to 20 weeks
  • Missing or incomplete documentation or information in your return. This is why you should e-file with leading tax software as most online tax filing software checks for this, which is why manually filed returns are more at risk
  • Incorrect bank details or account numbers provided in your return
  • If you are using a pre-paid card for the first time and were using a middleman bank , some people have had their refund not deposited because the middleman bank does not test deposits to ensure the account is active and correct
  • Refund claims with an application for an individual taxpayer identification number attached
  • Refund offset which reduces your payment due to other federal or state obligations. See section below for more on this.
  • If you requested a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S by filing a Form 1040NR , allow up to 6 months from the original due date of the 1040NR return or the date you actually filed the 1040NR, whichever is later, to receive any refund due
  • PATH act delays because you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit . This constraint was/is normally lifted in mid-February,

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Why Have I Not Gotten My Tax Refund Yet 2020

its possible that your tax refund will be delayed due to a variety of circumstances. There may have been a problem with your jobs numbers as well as yours. In most years, however, you need a paper refund to file your tax return to receive a delayed tax refund. The COVID-19 pandemic added to a backlog of tax returns.

Why Are Refunds Taking So Long

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Although the IRS indicate that there is a typical 21-window for you to receive your tax refund, your return could take longer to process if you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit.

The reason behind this is that they want to deter fraud, but if you filed your tax return as soon as you could – from January 24 – you are unlikely the receive your refund until the beginning of March, say the IRS.

Additionally, any errors on your tax return can slow down your tax refund, so this could be an incorrect math problem or not being correct in stating the amount you got from the advanced Child Tax Credit payments.

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I Have Moved To Another Address Since I Filed My Return My Refund Check Could Have Been Returned To The Department As An Undeliverable Check What Do I Need To Do To Get My Check Forwarded To My New Address

In most cases, the US Postal Service does not forward refund checks. To update your address, please complete the Change of Address Form for Individuals, call the Department toll-free at 1-877-252-3052, or write to: North Carolina Department of Revenue, Attn: Customer Service, P.O. Box 1168, Raleigh, NC 27602-1168.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Tax Refund From The Irs

The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 45 days. For paper returns, taxpayers should expect to wait as long as 14 weeks. If you selected direct deposit for your refund, the funds should be deposited within one week of processing.

How long does it take to get a refund from La Dor?

Due to the need to address the increasing occurrences of identity theft, it will take additional time to process refunds. Generally, if your return was completed correctly, you can expect electronically filed refunds to take up to 45 days. The LA DOR site says: The expected refund processing time for returns filed electronically is up to 45 days.

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