If you are still waiting on your 2020 tax refund, you are not alone. The IRS announced on December 23, 2021, that over 6 million individual returns have not been processed.
In this article, we’ll cover what you should expect and what to do next if your tax refund is delayed.
Reasons Why Your Tax Refund Was Delayed
Typically, the IRS issues a refund within 21 days of accepting a tax return but there are several reasons your 2020 tax refund could be delayed.
In 2021, the IRS had to correct significantly more errors on tax returns than ever before. Your tax refund could be delayed if you filed an incomplete return or if any mistakes were found on your tax return.
Using a seamless tax planning and filing service, like Club Capital, that provides personalized tax preparation consultations throughout the year will help minimize errors on your tax return.
Your return could also be delayed if a correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount is required, or a validation of your 2019 income used to calculate the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) is required.
If the IRS suspects identity theft or fraud your tax return could be delayed. The IRS will need to complete an investigation and verify your identity before releasing your tax return.
Lastly, you could be experiencing delays if you filed a paper return or requested a refund in the form of a physical check, which requires longer processing than electronically filed returns and refunds.
How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund
You will need your Social Security Number or ITN, filing status, and exact refund amount to access the Where’s My refund tool.
The IRS also recommends accessing your Online Account for more information about your individual account.
Steps You Can Take To Get Your Refund
If you, or your bookkeeping and tax specialist, filed your tax refund electronically and received an acknowledgment, you don’t need to take any further action.
You should call the IRS if the Where's My Refund tool doesn't have any information on the status of your refund or advises you to contact the IRS.
The IRS will contact you by mail for more information or to verify your identity, if
- your tax refund is missing information,
- a mistake was found on your tax return,
- or there is suspected identity theft or fraud.
In most cases, no further action is needed. If possible, the IRS will resolve any identified issues without contacting you.