Are you still waiting for your federal tax return to be processed? Currently, thousands of taxpayers are waiting for the IRS to process their tax returns as the IRS works through a large backlog of tax returns. As of March 5th, the IRS had around 9.2 million unprocessed tax returns. This means you could be waiting a little bit longer for your tax return to get processed. This delay is compounded now as the IRS works to process tax returns and issue out the third round of stimulus checks.
The IRS stated it is still processing tax returns from July 15th, 2020, which was the extended tax deadline for 2019 tax returns. Hundreds of 2019 returns were filed by the October 15th extension deadline are still waiting to be processed. For 2020 tax returns, of the 66 million tax returns it has received, the IRS has processed 58.5 million.
The delays are due in part to 2020’s extraordinary stimulus measures that have complicated tax returns for millions of Americans. The IRS was already working to adjust to changes made by December’s stimulus package and now has to work to adjust to the changes made by the recently signed into law American Rescue Act. Due to these changes and stimulus checks, the IRS is having to manually review a large number of returns slowing down the process and delaying refunds. This process is hampered by the fact that the IRS has faced years of budget cuts and staffing losses.
The backlog will also affect those who end up amending their returns due to filing before the passing of the American Rescue Act and will now need to amend their tax returns to take advantage of those savings. Amended returns typically require a manual review and millions of the returns that haven’t been processed are also sitting in line for a manual review.
The best thing a taxpayer can do to get their tax return and refund quickly is to file electronically and if they are due a tax refund, have it done via direct deposit. You can check the status of your tax return and your tax refund by visiting the IRS’s website and clicking on the Where’s My Refund tool. You will need your Social Security Number, your filing status, and your exact tax refund.