Haven’t received your tax refund yet? What to do if your IRS money is delayed

If you see “IRS TREAS 310” on your bank statement, it could be your income tax refund.

Angela Lang / CNET

It’s almost fall and the IRS is still working on processing millions of tax returns. If you’re one of the people still waiting for your federal tax refund check, know that the tax agency is getting a record number of phone calls and still working with a massive backlog of returns. Many taxpayers wait for money to pay their bills, debts, and other expenses, but they have no idea where their money is.

To add to this, the IRS has also been busy with dunning checks, adjustments for 2020 returns, child tax credit payments and refund for tax overpayment on unemployment benefits. The “plus-up” stimulus payments and the third monthly advance payment of the Expanded Program child tax credit – which comes out Sept. 15 – could give families financial relief, but an overdue tax refund would be of even greater help. And unfortunately, taxpayers are still waiting for a payment date or a clue that their check is on its way.

We’ll show you how to track your money using the Where’s My Refund online tool and check your unemployment refund status with your tax statement. To find out more about economic aid, here are some ways to see if you qualify for child tax credit payments. If you are wondering about future stimulus payments or at the latest on unemployment benefits, we can talk to you about it too. This story is updated frequently.

Why Federal Tax Refunds Are Being Delayed Right Now

Due to the pandemic, the IRS was operating at limited capacity in 2020, which strained its ability to process tax returns and created a backlog. The combination of the shutdown, three rounds of stimulus payments, challenges with paper returns and the tasks of implementing new tax laws and new credits created a “perfect storm,” according to a review of the National Taxpayer Advocate for the 2021 Congressional Filing Season.

The IRS is open again and is currently processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds, and correspondence, but limited resources continue to cause delays. The IRS said it is also taking longer for 2020 tax returns that need to be reviewed, such as the determination recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks – or calculate the earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.

Here is a list of the reasons your income tax refund might be delayed:

  • Your tax return contains errors.
  • It is incomplete.
  • Your refund is suspected of identity theft or fraud.
  • You claimed the working income tax credit or the additional child tax credit.
  • Your return requires further consideration.
  • Your return includes Form 8379 (PDF), Injured Spouse’s Breakdown – it can take up to 14 weeks to process.

If the delay is due to a necessary tax correction to a recovery refund credit, earned income tax, or additional child tax credit claimed on your return, the IRS will send you an explanation. If there is an issue that needs to be resolved, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. However, if he needs more information, he will write you a letter.

The IRS Schedule for Processing Tax Returns

The IRS typically issues tax refunds within three weeks, but some taxpayers have been waiting months to receive their payments. If there are any errors, or if you have applied for an income tax credit or child tax credit, the wait can be quite long. If there is an issue that is delaying your return, resolution “depends on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS personnel trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the process. processing your return, ”according to its website.

The date you get your tax refund also depends on how you filed your return. For example, with refunds in your bank account by direct deposit, it may take an additional five days for your bank to send the money to your account. This means that if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to mail it, you could wait a total of 26 days to receive your money. If you’ve filed a tax return in the mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive.

Use the IRS Where’s My Refund tool. here’s how

To check the status of your 2020 income tax refund using the IRS tracking tools, you will need to provide some information: your social security number or your individual tax ID number, your status deposit amount – single, married, or head of household – and your full dollar refund amount, 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’ve mailed your return) before you start tracking your refund.

Using the IRS Where’s My Refund tool, navigate to the Get Refund Status page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your deposit status, and the exact amount of your refund, then tap TP submit. If you have entered your information correctly, you will be redirected to a page showing the status of your refund. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all of the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, as well as whether you filed electronically or on paper.

The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks your tax refund status – it’s available in English and Spanish. You will be able to see if your return has been received, approved and sent. To log in, you will need certain information: your social security number, the status of your file and the expected reimbursement amount. The IRS updates this tool’s data overnight, so if you don’t see a change in status after 24 hours or more, check back the next day. Once your return and refund is approved, you will receive a personalized date to expect your money back.

Where’s My Refund contains information on the most recent tax refund recorded by the IRS in the past two years. Therefore, if you are looking for information on returns from previous years, you will need to contact the IRS for assistance.

Meaning of these IRS tax refund messages

The two IRS tools (online and mobile app) will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.

  • Has received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed your refund amount, if you have one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank by direct deposit or in the form of a paper check sent to your mailbox. (Here’s how to change the address on file if you’ve moved.)

What an IRS TREAS 310 transaction means

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see IRS VERY 310 indicated for the transaction. Code 310 simply identifies the transaction as a refund of a tax return filed in the form of an electronic payment (direct deposit). This would also apply to those who receive an automatic adjustment on their tax return or a refund due to the March legislation on tax-exempt unemployment benefits. You can also see TAX REFERENCE in the description field for a refund.

If you have received IRS VERY 310 combined with a CHILD CTC description, it means the money is intended for monthly advance payment for improvement child tax credit.

If you see a 449 in the place of 310, this means that your repayment has been set off for an overdue debt.

What Happens to Record Number of IRS Appeals

The IRS received 167 million calls this tax season, four times the number of calls in 2019. And based on the recent report, only 7% of calls reached a phone agent for help. . While you can try calling the IRS to verify your status, the agency’s live phone support is extremely limited at this time as the IRS says it is working hard to overcome the backlog. You do not have to file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.

While the chances of getting live assistance are slim, the IRS says you should only call if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where’s My Refund tool. tells you to contact the IRS. Here is the number to call: 800-829-1040.

Your refund could arrive by post

There are several reasons why your refund will be mailed to you. Your money can only be deposited electronically into a bank account in your name, that of your spouse or a joint account. If this is not the reason, you may receive multiple refund checks, and the IRS can only directly deposit three refunds into a single account. Additional refunds must be sent by mail. Also, your bank may reject the deposit and this would be the best way for the IRS to pay your money back quickly.

It is also important to note that for refunds, direct deposit is not always automatic. Some people notice that, like the stimulus checks, the first two child tax credit payments have been mailed. In case, parents must sign in to the IRS portal to verify that the agency has its correct banking information. Otherwise, parents can add it for the next payment in September.

For more information about your money, here is the latest news on federal unemployment benefits and how the child tax credit could impact your taxes in 2022.

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