Where Is My Tax Return? IRS Playing Catch Up As Americans Eagerly Wait for Their Tax Refund

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The IRS has gone through more than 91 million individual tax returns filed for the 2020 tax year and issued more than 68 million refunds so far, CBS reported.

If you’re still waiting for your tax refund, you’re not alone. The IRS is holding 29 million tax returns for manual processing and one of them could be yours. 

Typically, the IRS sends most refunds within three weeks of taxpayers filing their returns. But this year, the IRS was faced with some unique challenges including a backlog of 2019 paper tax returns that the IRS was unable to process after they had to close their office during the coronavirus pandemic, CBS News reported

The delays are causing some taxpayers to share their distress, hoping that today will be the day their check arrives, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent arm of the tax agency that looks out for consumers' interests.

recent notice from the IRS said that some people may experience a longer-than-average wait for their payments. That may impact tax returns that need a correction due to changes made by the Recovery Rebate Credit — a tax credit adjustment for people who were owed more stimulus money — or to verify income for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), according to the agency, CBS reported. 

An April 22 report from the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that the IRS still hadn't reopened all of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers by last fall after shuttering them last spring. And those taxpayers who reach out to the IRS by phone must wait an average of 18 minutes to get through, versus the 11-minute wait time before the pandemic.

But Americans should rest assured that tax returns are getting processed daily, according to a blog post published by taxpayer advocate Erin M. Collins last week.

Collins said that the tax agency has gone through more than 91 million individual tax returns filed for the 2020 tax year and issued more than 68 million refunds so far. The IRS has also distributed more than 161 million payments for a third stimulus check over the past several weeks, adding to its workload on top of the current tax season.

To help ease some of the frustration, taxpayers are encouraged to utilize IRS tools, such as, Where's My Refund? at IRS.gov or go to the IRS2Go Mobile App.

Taxpayers can start checking their refund status within 24 hours after an e-filed return is received. In addition, Where's My Refund provides a personalized date after the return is processed and a refund is approved, the site said.

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