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Where's My Refund? 

You’ve filed your taxes, and now all you can think about is that sweet, sweet tax refund. However, if you find it’s taking longer than you expected this year, you’re not alone.  

Read on to learn why some tax refunds are taking a little longer this year, what to do if your refund was delayed, and how you can check the status of your tax refund. 

Was My Tax Refund Delayed?  

The short answer: maybe. There are several reasons why your tax refund may be delayed, including: 

  • Errors on your tax return. 
  • Incomplete fields on your tax return. 
  • Suspicion of fraud or identity theft. 
  • You filed for the earned income tax credit or child tax credit. 
  • You filed to receive the injured spouse allocation, which may take anywhere up to 14 weeks to process. 

If you aren’t sure whether any of these apply to you, don’t fret just yet; the IRS will typically provide an explanation for a delayed return. For example, suppose your tax return necessitated any correction to items such as the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, or the recovery rebate credit. In that case, your return will likely take longer than usual, and the IRS will send you correspondence to explain why. 

If you are worried you made a mistake, the IRS will first attempt to rectify it on their end. If this is not possible, they will send you a letter detailing the steps you must take to address your mistake. 

Of course, none of the above may apply to you, yet you still receive your refund well beyond the standard 21-day window. The reason is, well, the IRS is a little backed up this year. 

Why Is the IRS So Slow This Year? 

Processing tax returns and handling refunds for each American taxpayer is a colossal task. Due to the scope of the IRS’s work, any mishap or delay can cause additional delays further down the line. In 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic hamstrung the IRS’s operating capacity, and they’re still dealing with the backlog today.  

If your 2021 tax return contains adjustments to pandemic-related tax legislation, such as the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit, it’s only going to add wood to the pile. That being said, it’s always worth exploring these tax credits to increase your refund — even if doing so causes a slight delay. 

​​What Can I Do About a Delayed Tax Refund?  

There are several things you can do if your refund is delayed: 

  1. Review your correspondence from the IRS carefully. If they explain that mistakes were made on your return, make sure to correct them. 
  2. Check your Federal Tax Refund Status. 

How Can I Check My Federal Tax Refund Status? 

If you’re concerned about being left in the dark as the IRS processes your return, don’t fret — the IRS offers a free “Where’s My Refund?” to shed some light on the status of your return. To use this tool, you will need your Social Security Number (SSN) or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), your current filing status, and your exact refund amount. 

If you want to use the tool on your mobile phone, you will have to download the IRS2Go App. 

Having TAXiety? We Have the Answers. 

It’s no secret — taxes can be a challenge to understand. If preparing for this year’s tax season gives you TAXiety, don’t hesitate — schedule an appointment with your local Liberty Tax Practitioner. Let the tax pros at Liberty Tax be your tax resource.  

Ready to tackle your taxes? Y​ou can start your return by downloading our app from the Apple App or Google Play stores or utilizing our virtual tax pro. 

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