Your Tax Return Is Still Being Processed
Where’s My Refund?
Taxpayers can use the “Where’s My Refund” system from the IRS to check on the status of the tax return. The IRS also provides an IRS2Go app to check your status from your phone. To check on the status of your refund you’ll need:
- Your Social Security number or ITIN
- Your filing status and
- Your exact refund amount
You’ll have access to your refund status 24 hours after e-filing or 4 weeks after you mail a return. The IRS updates its systems daily.
“Your Tax Return is Still Being Processed”
When using either the online “Where’s My Refund” system, or the mobile app, you may see a message that says “your tax return is still being processed” or “your return is being processed” – what does this mean?
If you’re seeing a message that your tax return is being processed, you can be assured that the IRS has received your return. That’s the good news – you’ve done your part in getting your return to the IRS in a timely manner, and now it is up to the IRS to process and send your refund back to you (if applicable).
How Quickly Will I Get My Refund?
So, how quickly will you get your tax refund?
While the IRS strives to have most returns and refunds completed within a 21-day timeframe, there may be processing delays due to COVID-19.
Your best chance of getting your refund quickly is to e-file your return and select a direct deposit for the refund. Even if you’ve e-filed, you may still experience a delay as the IRS may experience staffing shortages due to the pandemic.
Try to be patient and wait the full 21 days after filing. You can continue to check your status using the “Where’s My Refund” system or the IRS2Go App. It may also take an additional few days for your bank or financial institution to post your payment to your account.
Tax Return Delay
What can you do if your tax refund is delayed?
After 21 days, your tax return may be delayed. You may see a message in the “Where’s My Refund” system asking you to call the IRS, or you may opt to call the IRS directly after 21 days. The IRS may also contact you by mail if they need additional information regarding your return.
If your return has a refund for the Recovery Rebate Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, your return may need additional processing time from the IRS.
Other reasons your return may be delayed include if your return is incomplete or contained errors, or if it needs further review. If you’ve been impacted by fraud or identity theft, your return may also be delayed. Corrections to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount may necessitate delays from the IRS.
Some special circumstances, such as a form 8379 for Injured Spouse Allocated, can take the IRS up to 14 weeks to process.
To learn about the current delays at the IRS during the pandemic, the IRS has a live operations page with expected delay times.
Interest on Late Refunds
Does the IRS owe taxpayers interest on late refunds?
If the IRS is late sending your refund, you may be owed interest on your refund. Interest payments are generally issued separately from tax refunds. Interest rates compound daily and begin if you don’t receive a refund within 45 days from the deadline.
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