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Tax Refund Delayed by IRS? Right here Are the Prime 8 Causes Why


examining cash

Most People will obtain refunds about three weeks after submitting their taxes.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is a part of Taxes 2022, CNET’s protection of the very best tax software program and all the pieces else it’s worthwhile to get your return filed shortly, precisely and on-time.

There’s nonetheless greater than a month til the April 18 tax deadline, however many People have already acquired their tax refunds from the IRS — virtually 38 million taxpayers have acquired tax refunds averaging $3,401. In keeping with the IRS for those who file your tax return electronically and use direct deposit, you must get your refund in about 21 days.

However even for those who do all the pieces proper, you could possibly nonetheless end up ready to your cash to reach from the IRS. The three-week estimate is likely to be correct for the typical tax filer, however a wide range of components can maintain up your tax refund.

Listed below are a few of the most typical causes your IRS cash might be delayed this yr. For extra, discover the greatest free tax software program, see the best way to monitor your refund to your checking account or your mailbox and learn to create a web based IRS account. We’ll maintain this story up to date.

Your tax return has errors or is incomplete

Once you file your tax return, it is vital to cross-check any info you have included to verify it is correct. As an illustration, do not combine up the numbers of state taxes withheld with federal taxes withheld. Earlier than you submit your taxes to the IRS, merely take a re-evaluation to repair any potential errors and ensure you’ve crammed out every discipline.

Additionally, for those who acquired little one tax credit score funds final yr, be sure that the quantity on Letter 6419 matches the quantity you acquired. If an incorrect quantity is entered, the IRS might want to additional evaluate your tax return, which the company says will end in an «intensive delay.»

Word that if there’s an issue that must be fastened after you submit your return, the IRS will first attempt to proceed with out contacting you. Which means it might be days or perhaps weeks earlier than you realize there’s an issue.

You owe the IRS cash

When you owe again taxes to the IRS, the company could take some or your whole tax refund to repay that debt. In case your refund accommodates extra money than you owe, you will obtain the remaining stability by way of direct deposit or verify within the mail, but it surely might be delayed. Taxpayers whose refunds are utilized by the IRS to cowl present cost obligations ought to obtain a CP49 discover within the mail. 

Even for those who do not owe the IRS cash, the company can maintain your tax refund cash you probably have different money owed to state or federal companies. The Treasury Offset Program permits the IRS to take all or a part of your tax refund to pay obligations comparable to little one help, state taxes or unemployment compensation repayments. Such money owed may delay the arrival of your remaining tax refund or remove it fully.

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Your banking information is incorrect

Have you changed bank accounts since you last filed your taxes? If so, pay close attention to what the direct deposit information says when submitting your return this year. If you accidentally forget to update it with your new direct deposit details, your refund will be sent back to the IRS. This will likely result in a paper check being mailed to your house, 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 get their refunds back more quickly. With mail delays, it could take a while for the IRS to receive your return in the mail and even longer to issue a paper check. 

Filing your return online instead of through the mail is more important than ever this year to avoid refund delays, the IRS says. Instead of a paper tax return, use one of these free online tax filing services so you don’t have to wait to receive your money.

You filed for the child tax credit or earned income credit

If you filed your return in January and included the child tax credit or earned income credit on your taxes, by law, the earliest you can get a refund is mid-February. This is to give the IRS more time to prevent fraudulent refunds from being issued.

Assuming there aren’t any errors, the IRS expects most taxpayers claiming these benefits to receive their refunds in their bank accounts by March 1.


Child tax credit money can be sent no sooner than mid-February.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS suspects identity theft

If the IRS flags a tax return for having a possible chance of identity theft, the agency will hold your refund until your identity is verified. When that occurs, you’ll likely receive a 5071C letter that provides instructions for proving your identity. If your tax return is legitimate, don’t panic — an IRS letter doesn’t mean there is proof of identity theft, merely a suspicion.

Taxpayers can verify their identity on the IRS website, which currently requires creating an account, or by calling a dedicated phone number listed on the IRS letter. If those methods fail, you’ll need to schedule an in-person appointment at a local IRS office.

One method for avoiding identity-theft-related delays is to create an «Identity Protection PIN» or IP-PIN. This unique six-digit ID is known only to you and the IRS and prevents anyone else from filing a return in your name. The IP PIN will only last for one year — you’ll need to create a new one next tax season if you want the same level of identity protection. You’ll need an account to create an IP PIN online, although it is possible to acquire an IP PIN using IRS Form 15227 (PDF) and a telephone interview or in-person appointment.

You filed an amended tax return

If can happen to anyone — you forgot a form or a major deduction or you accidentally picked the wrong filing status. If the change to your return is big enough, you’ll want to file an amended return. The IRS allows anyone who files their tax return electronically to also e-file their amended return, but only for the current year.

If you do file an amended return, you’ll need to practice patience. The IRS warns that amended returns can take up to 16 weeks to be processed. 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 for helping you determine if you should file an amended return.

Your return needs further review

As mentioned above, if you see a message saying that your tax return needs further review by the IRS, you can expect your refund to arrive later than the average three weeks. For instance, if you receive a CP07 Notice, it means the IRS has received your tax return and is holding your refund until it completes a more thorough review. You might get this notice if you’re claiming treaty benefits or deductions on the Schedule A section (PDF) of your taxes.

If the agency finds no issues, your refund could arrive within six to 12 weeks, assuming no taxes are owed. If the IRS does find issues with your return, it’ll send you a notice with instructions on what to do within that same period. That means you’ll get your refund months later than you anticipated.

For more information, here are the most important dates and deadlines for filing your taxes. Also, here are 10 tax changes that could affect the size of your refund, and 13 tax deductions and credits to boost your refund.




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