Tax Refund Delay – What are the Reasons and How to Track It?

Tax Refund Delay

The IRS is making every effort to provide citizens with a fluent platform for filing a tax return. The deadline for a tax return in 2023 is April 18. However, if you have filed your tax returns in previous years and looking for a tax refund, then this blog is for you. People timely pay their taxes in. However, the opposite of timely tax payments, they face tax refund delay problems. 

The IRS tries to quickly process a refund, but sometimes it can take much more time. Thus, taxpayers often think what the reasons that keep their checks holding.  

Reasons for IRS Tax Refund Delay

When you are looking for a tax refund, you will probably hate it being late. 

Reasons for IRS Tax Refund Delay

The following modifications were made by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act and went into effect for the 2017 filing season in order to lessen revenue loss brought on by identity theft and refund fraud linked to fake wages and withholdings:

  • If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return, the IRS may not grant you a credit or refund before February 15.
  • This change applies to tax returns filed before February 15 that claim the EITC or ACTC.
  • Your full refund, including any portion not related to the EITC or ACTC, will be held by the IRS.
  • Regardless of whether you are in need of financial assistance, neither TAS nor the IRS will release any portion of your refund before time.

If your IRS tax refund is delayed, there are multiple reasons for it.

Incomplete Tax Return Filing 

The most common reason for IRS delaying your tax refund is missing information in your tax return. The processing time for paper returns is impacted by missing schedules, paperwork, or W-2 or 1099 copies.

Mistakes in Computation 

American citizens pay many types of taxes, which makes the US tax system complicated. With various exclusions, unique situations, deductions, and credits, there can be a possibility of mistakes in computation. The taxable portion of Social Security income, taxable income, the Child and Dependent Care Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit are a few of the most common forms where citizens make calculative mistakes. 

Filing Tax Returns on Paper

No doubt that e-filing is the quickest option available for taxpayers. But in some situations, you have to file your return on paper. You may be filling and filing your taxes on paper and posting it to the IRS. Even if your tax return is correct, it will take up to six weeks for IRS to process your refund on paper-filed returns. 

Social Security Number Contradiction

The Social Security Number (SSN) and name combination on the return must match the data in the Social Security Administration’s database as part of the IRS process for confirming tax return information. A mismatch could severely cause delayed tax returns.

IRS delayed tax refunds

E-filing helps in making necessary corrections in case of rejection on your tax returns.

Early or Late Tax Return Filing

The huge number of people submitting at the last minute can cause a delay in filing a return. Moreover, filing a return on paper at the last moment will also cause a delay in refund. 

Sometimes, IRS upgrades its tax software due to last-minute changes to the tax code or processes, causing delays in filing taxes. Moreover, there can be the risk of identity theft if you file late, ultimately causing an IRS tax refund delay. 

Incorrect Direct Deposit Information

The IRS runs a direct deposit program for a faster and safer tax refund. The taxpayer receives a refund in their financial account without any additional charges electronically. So your money won’t be lost or stolen. So, if you enter the wrong account number, then your IRS refund will be delayed by weeks. The taxpayer will receive a paper check by post in case of wrong direct deposit information.

Owing to Unpaid Federal Taxes 

Another reason for refund delay is when you receive IRS notice CP49, Overpayment Applied to Taxes Owed. It signifies that IRS withheld your refund to cover any unpaid federal income taxes. However, you can disagree with the amount of tax the IRS claims you owe. You can file for an amended tax return to resolve the issue.

Pending Debts

The IRS may delay your tax refund if you owe outstanding bills, including non-tax debts like

  • Past-due child support.
  • Other federal agency payments.
  • State taxes.
  • Unemployment compensation repayments.

Estimated Tax Refund Schedule 

In most cases, taxpayers get their refunds 21 days after filing. However, taxpayers may have to wait five days to access their refund if they opt for direct deposit in the account. If your income tax refund is delayed, then here is the schedule.

Method of Filing Time to Receive Your Refund After Filing
E-file with direct deposit1 to 3 weeks
Paper file with direct deposit3 weeks 
E-file with a check through mail1 month
Paper file with a check through mail2 months 

The problem of refund starts at the initial stage of tax preparation. So, get professional income tax preparation services from AS Tax and Accounting. They will precisely file your taxes and never let your IRS refunds be delayed.

How to Track IRS Tax Refund Status?

The refund status is always updated once a day, every overnight, by the IRS. However, you should keep the following three things ready.

  • First, taxpayer ID number or Social Security.
  • Secondly, the filing status.
  • Lastly, the exact refund amount on your return.

You can use the IRS website or the IRS2Go smartphone app to check the status of your refund. Another way to check the status is by using the online tool “Where’s my refund?” by the IRS.

  • You can check the status of your refund if you file your taxes electronically after 24 hours. 
  • However, if you file your taxes by mail, you will have to wait at least four weeks before you hear anything about your tax refund. 
  • Moreover, if you are e-filing your 2020 and 2021 tax year returns, you may have to wait 3 to 4 days. 
  • If you have 

However, if you unintentionally enter the incorrect SSN, there will be an IRS 9001 Error Code. It would necessitate additional identity verification, which might cause tax refund delays.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time window for claiming an IRS refund?

The taxpayer should note that if a refund is owed to you, filing after April 18 will not result in a penalty. Moreover, to claim their refunds, taxpayers have three years of time from the original return due date. 

Why is it taking so long for my IRS refund?

If, after 21 days, you still haven’t received your refund, your tax return might require more scrutiny. The possible reasons can be inaccurate or incomplete tax returns. Moreover, if you owe federal taxes or have filed a tax return on paper, there will be a delay in the refund. 

What is the tax refund due time for state taxes?

When it comes to giving out tax refunds, every state operates a little bit differently. However, on average, if you filed your state tax return electronically, you can anticipate receiving your state tax refund within 30 days. However, your refund could take up to 12 weeks to arrive if you filed a paper tax return. 

Which app provides the status of IRS refunds?

Taxpayers can use the IRS2Go smartphone app to retrieve information about the delay of their tax refunds. It is easy to use application. They can also use the “Where’s my refund” online tool to get the status. 

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