No tax refund yet? Why Your IRS Money Might Be Late
This story is partCNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything you need to file your return quickly, accurately and on time.
The taxes were due two weeks ago. If you are not one of the approximately 130 million filers who have submitted their 2021 tax returns, you mustfor or avoid penalties and interest if you must.
with should give you a tax refund in about 21 days, according to the IRS. If you’ve been waiting for more than three weeks and a refund hasn’t arrived yet, there may be a problem or your tax situation simply needs further processing.
In a March bulletin, the IRS noted that some tax refunds may take slightly longer than the expected 21-day period and also warned taxpayers “not to count on receiving a refund before a certain date, especially when making large purchases or paying bills.”
Here are 10 of the most common reasons IRS money is delayed this year. To find out more, find thesee how or and learn to .
Your tax return contains errors or is incomplete
When you file your tax return, it’s important to check all the information you’ve included to make sure it’s accurate. For example, do not confuse the number of state taxes withheld with federal taxes withheld. Before submitting your taxes to the IRS, simply take a look to correct any potential errors and make sure you have completed each field.
Also, if you received child tax credit payments last year, make sure the amountis the amount you received. If an incorrect amount is entered, the IRS will need to examine your tax return further, which the agency says will result in a “significant delay.”
Note that if there is an issue that needs to be resolved after you submit your return, the IRS will first attempt to proceed without contacting you. This means that it may take days or weeks before you know there is a problem.
You owe money to the IRS
If you owe the IRS back taxes, the agency may take all or part of your tax refund to pay off that debt. If your refund contains more money than you owe, you will receive the remaining balance by direct deposit or by check in the mail, but this may be delayed. Taxpayers whose refunds are used by the IRS to cover existing payment obligations should receive a CP49 notice by mail.
Even if you don’t owe the IRS any money, the agency may keep your tax refund money if you have other debts to state or federal agencies. The Treasury Compensation Program allows the IRS to take all or part of your tax refund to pay obligations such as child support, state taxes, or reimbursement of unemployment benefits. Such debts could delay the arrival of your remaining tax refund or eliminate it altogether.
Your bank details are incorrect
Have you changed your bank account since your last tax return? If so, pay close attention to what the direct deposit information says when you file your return this year. If you accidentally forget to update it with your, your refund will be returned to the IRS. This will likely result in a paper check being sent to your doorstep, which could take several weeks longer to arrive.
You filed a paper tax return
This year, the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file electronically and set up direct deposit to collect their refunds faster. With mail delays, it may take the IRS a while to receive your return in the mail and even longer to issue a paper check.
Filing your return online rather than by mail is more important than ever this year to avoid late refunds, according to the IRS. Instead of a paper tax return, useso you don’t have to wait to receive your money.
You didn’t enter your stimulus payments correctly
In 2021, most Americans received a third stimulus check payment tied to the. Although this money is not taxable, it must be reconciled on your tax return if you are claiming the salvage rebate credit.
In recent testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, IRS Commissioner Charles P. Retting said that in 2020, the IRS “received well over 10 million returns” where taxpayers did not properly reconcile their stimulus payments with the amounts entered for their refund. credits. These returns require manual review and create long delays.
If you plan to claim the recovery refund credit on your tax return, learn how to avoid this mistake by usingor your .
You filed Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allowance
It sounds painful, but this form has nothing to do with physical injuries or disabilities.
When a married couple jointly files a federal debt, the IRS can garnish their tax refund to offset the money they owe. If only half of the couple owes the money, the other partner may be considered “aggrieved” and claim at least part of the expected tax refund. Enter IRS Form 8379.
Although not as common as some of the other causes, this late tax refund is significant. According to the Form 8379 instructions, taxpayers filing the form should expect a processing time of up to 14 weeks, or up to 11 weeks if filing electronically.
The IRS suspects identity theft
If the IRS flags a tax return as having a possible risk of identity theft, the agency will hold your refund until your identity is verified. When this happens, you will likely receive a 5071C letter with instructions for proving your identity. If your tax return is legit, don’t panic – a letter from the IRS doesn’t mean there’s proof of identity theft, just a suspicion.
Taxpayers can verify their identity on the IRS website, which currently requires, or by calling a dedicated phone number listed on the IRS letter. If these methods fail, you will need to schedule an in-person appointment at a local IRS office.
One method to avoid delays related to identity theft is to create an “Identity Protection PIN” or IP-PIN. This unique six-digit identifier is known only to you and the IRS and prevents anyone from filing a return on your behalf. The IP PIN will only last for one year – you will need to create a new one next tax season if you want the same level of identity protection. You will need an ID.me account to create an IP PIN online, although it is possible to acquire an IP PIN using IRS form 15227 (PDF) and a phone interview or appointment in person.
You have completed Form 1040-NR to request a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S
Although this reason is rare, it can significantly delay your tax refund. Non-resident aliens in the United States who earn taxable income may receive Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s US Source Income Subject to Withholding. This form often applies to non-Americans who receive scholarships while attending college in the United States.
To recover the money withheld as a tax refund, foreigners who receive Forms 1042-S will need to file a 1040-NR return. The IRS says it needs more time to process these returns, up to six months after the return was filed or when the 1040-NR was due, whichever is later.
You have filed an amended tax return
It can happen to anyone – you forgot a form or major deduction, or you accidentally chose the wrong filing status. If the change to your return is significant enough, you will want to file an amended return. The IRS allows anyone who files their tax return electronically to also file their amended return, but only for the current year.
If you file an amended return, you will need to be patient. The IRS warns that amended returns can take up to 16 weeks to process. Before filing an amended return, you may want to wait to receive the tax refund from your original return. The IRS can often correct small errors and adjust your tax refund accordingly. The agency provides an online tool to help you determine if you need to file an amended return.
Your statement requires further investigation
As mentioned above, if you see a message that your tax return needs further review by the IRS, you can expect your refund to arrive later than the three-week average. For example, if you receive a CP07 notice, it means the IRS has received your tax return and is holding your refund until it completes further review. You may receive this notice if you claim treaty benefits or deductions in the Schedule A (PDF) section of your taxes.
If the agency finds no issues, your refund could arrive in six to 12 weeks, assuming no tax is due. If the IRS finds any issues with your return, they will send you a notice with instructions on what to do within that same time frame. This means that you will receive your refund months later than expected.
For more information, here are theto file your taxes. As well, which may affect the amount of your refund, and to boost your refund.