Delayed 2020 federal income tax refund

Yes, irs.gov says they're running late. 

But when i go through "check on my refund," it just says something like "no information available," as if they hadn't received the return.  The USPS return receipt came back to me, so i'm sure they did receive it.

Anybody else having this experience?  FWIW, i filed on paper (no commentary please, i'm old...), right at the May deadline, and filled in info for direct deposit of the refund, same as in past years.

??? or not to worry yet?


My son is having the same problem. I think he gets a message like "pending" or something like that.


My daughter still has not gotten her 2019 refund. Not a typo. $4k+. The 2020 refund was on time.


30 million people still waiting 


They cashed my check quickly enough.


KarenMarlowe said:

They cashed my check quickly enough.

 Crazy how that works, huh? 


I had the opposite experience.  I had mine done by the middle of February.  I reviewed them and my accountant sent them in.  In less than a week I had my Fed refund.  I was very surprised.


Well, the plot thickens a little.

I was wrong.  I had not received the USPS return receipt.  In fact, it arrived today, 8/13, with an IRS date-received stamp of 5/24.  Who knows where it's been for the last 3 months, but at least maybe things are starting to move??


(this is becoming a blog but i don't know how to change the thread title)

So today, still getting response of "We cannot provide any information" from the online refund status system, I called IRS.  After gaming their phone tree, i finally reached a rep who said our return is "not in the system," probably "still in the mail room" (3 months after it was received).  When can I hope for refund?  "Could be weeks, could be months."  Sigh.

Unfortunately, 2020 was the year when, out of laziness, i did not adjust our estimated tax payments, even though our income was less than in 2019 because we were not required to take IRA distributions.  So the anticipated refund is way more than a cup of coffee.  : (


I am beginning to be very happy about having to pay rather than waiting for a refund. I always figured I would rather have my money and write a check than have the Government sit with my money and owe me.

Is this wrong?


No STANV, imo that's the right thing, and back when i was the tax lady, that's what i advised my clients too:  break even or owe a little.  Not all could be persuaded.  And last year, as i said, i was just lazy about it.  Sigh again.


mjc, Thanks for the update. Hubster is bouncing off the walls worrying about the status of our return. This year we skipped buying the post office return receipt which is magnifying his anxiety. Your posts have helped. He is now only checking the IRS status website every 2 days.



My understanding is that the IRS is severely behind in many areas due to being short-staffed as well as many of their staff working from home.  So mailed-in returns that have to be keyed in by a staffer take longer than usual to be processed, therefore delaying refunds.  However, e-filed returns (which probably includes all returns submitted by paid preparers as well as those from many of the rest of us) are being handled quickly since there is little or no human intervention required.  


Hopefully they're scanning rather than keying printed paper returns, but they certainly have had extra work and delays this year (stimulus payments, adjustments to stimulus payments, child credits, pandemic disruptions....), in addition to years and year of budget/personnel cuts. 

But our a/c has been out since the middle of July (replacement scheduled for mid-Sept), so i'm sort of cranky already, the phone tree hung up on me (apparently by design), and i didn't like hearing "maybe months."  First world problems though.


Hi again, no change here except that the IRS phone tree has apparently been tweaked to just say (approx) "no news" and hang up.  Next time I'll try harder to work around it. 

Anybody else still waiting for their 2020 refund?

If I have an amount due with the 2021 return, do I dare not pay it, and let them offset it with the $4K they're still sitting on from 2020??

argh


Right out of the politicians' playbook. Cut IRS funding.  Give them lots of additional work to do.  Then, blame the IRS for the problems that inevitably occur.


tjohn, can't Like, but certainly agree!  That's the open secret (or one of them):  they don't want the govt to work, at least as long as their paychecks don't bounce.


I read (January 10) that due to Trump's cuts to the Treasury Dept, there is one IRS agent per 16,000 calls to the IRS. And the Build Back Better package apparently includes 80 billion over 10 years to rebuild Treasury. 

The I.R.S. Warns of Messy Tax Filing Season - The New York Times (nytimes.com)


Well, we finally got a letter from IRS this week about the 2020 return.  They will be taking another 60 days to "verify" something on the return.  According to this particularly uninformative (though 3-page) letter, they may be looking at income, withholding, tax credits, and/or business income.  There is no business income, and everything else (except for $60 election pay listed as miscellaneous) is available on 1099s etc. that they already have, but OK, whatever.

They don't want to hear from us during the 60 days.  That's till October, about a year and a half after they received the return.  After that it would be OK to call them....  Sigh.  At least the return apparently isn't lost.


mjc said:

Well, we finally got a letter from IRS this week about the 2020 return.  They will be taking another 60 days to "verify" something on the return.  According to this particularly uninformative (though 3-page) letter, they may be looking at income, withholding, tax credits, and/or business income.  There is no business income, and everything else (except for $60 election pay listed as miscellaneous) is available on 1099s etc. that they already have, but OK, whatever.

They don't want to hear from us during the 60 days.  That's till October, about a year and a half after they received the return.  After that it would be OK to call them....  Sigh.  At least the return apparently isn't lost.

Your return may be sitting in an IRS cafeteria in Austin. (Or the northeastern US equivalent.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/interactive/2022/irs-pipeline-tax-return-delays/?pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWJpZCI6IjMxNjEyNDMiLCJyZWFzb24iOiJnaWZ0IiwibmJmIjoxNjYwMjY3OTE1LCJpc3MiOiJzdWJzY3JpcHRpb25zIiwiZXhwIjoxNjYxNDc3NTE1LCJpYXQiOjE2NjAyNjc5MTUsImp0aSI6ImVjOTU4M2U0LTkzYTQtNDg0NS04OGUwLWFlNTg0MmEzOWVkYyIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lndhc2hpbmd0b25wb3N0LmNvbS9vcGluaW9ucy9pbnRlcmFjdGl2ZS8yMDIyL2lycy1waXBlbGluZS10YXgtcmV0dXJuLWRlbGF5cy8ifQ.aXkcfDSYaafKCI127o7-XL1vPuFK8uPnx_bReGP4ZDg&itid=gfta


As noted, they literally aren't even opening mailed returns for months.I had mailed mine in because I got rejected e-filing due to a slight mistake regarding last year's income. After about four months hearing absolutely nothing like you, I actually got to a person. They said they could correct the e-filing error and I could refile that way. I did and got my refund in three weeks. 


You absolutely want to e-file all returns.  The alternative is a nightmare of delays.


NJ should have a law like NY. In NY, e-filing firms cannot charge a filing fee for state returns.


chalmers, yay!!  and congratulations on reaching a person.

sac, yes, i e-filed this year (for 2021) and will do so going forward.  i also plan not to have a refund coming ever again if practical.  they can wait for the $, even if i have to pay a small penalty, i.e. interest for the time i held their $.

The amusing part is that in the years i was doing other people's taxes, i urged them not to wind up with a substantial refund, as noted above.

eta:  kthnry, thanks for that link!  Great article, great pix.  Truly takes me back to the 1970s.  Makes it really clear why IRS didn't have a chance of keeping up the past couple of years.


The few timesI have been due a refund,I have elected to apply it to next year’s taxes.   Does that eliminate the problem described by the OP?


joan, i would say in general yes.  But there's opportunity for error there, and in the current situation i don't know how they could have applied the overpayment from 2020 to 2021 before the 2020 return was processed.



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