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Waiting on your Tax Refund? Here’s Why

May 12, 2022

Though returns were due more than three weeks ago, you might still be waiting on your refund, if you were owed one. This could be a result of backlog at the IRS…or your return could be missing important info. Here’s what you should know.

The IRS continues to face staff shortages, which has resulted in unexpected delays processing both last year’s and this year’s tax returns. That could be a factor in why you have not received your refund…but there are other reasons why it may be late…read on.

IRS Delays

While the IRS has been able to reduce the tax return backlog due to COVID-19, they are still facing staff shortages which has resulted in refund delays. The IRS expects to receive 160.7 million individual returns this year, and as of March 4, 2022 only 54.7m had been filed. They are expecting to get through the back log by the end of 2022.

Other reasons your refund might be late

  1. You filed a paper return- E-filing is always encouraged, and guarantees faster refunds. If you filed a paper return, it could take the IRS a while to receive your return in the mail and issue you a paper check.
  2. Your return has errors or is not filled in completely- Sometimes taxpayers will mix up the numbers of state taxes paid with federal taxes paid, or enter an incorrect amount for advanced child tax credit payments received. In these cases, the IRS will need to further review your return which could result in a significant delay for your refund.
  3. You owe back taxes- If you owe back taxes, you should have received a CP49 notice in the mail which alerts you that your refund (if applicable) has been used to cover your payment obligations. The IRS may take some or all of your tax refund and put it towards your debt. If there is a remaining balance, it will be sent to you via direct deposit or a check in the mail…but it could take some time.
  4. You forgot to enter your stimulus payments- Did you receive a third stimulus check payment in 2021? Are you claiming the recovery rebate tax credit? The payment must be reconciled on your tax return in order to receive your refund.
  5. Your direct deposit information is inaccurate- Your return will be sent back to the IRS if you mistakenly forgot to update your new direct deposit details (if they have changed).
  6. Your return was flagged for potential identity theft- The IRS will hold your refund if they find a reason to believe you may be a victim of ID theft. You will receive a 50171C letter to verify your identity. To avoid this problem next year, create an IP-PIN, which is a unique six digit ID only known to you and the IRSW, which stops criminals from filing a return in your name. You can obtain an IP-PIN by going to

What should you do if you haven’t received your refund?

You can check the status of your refund by going to You'll need to know your social security number, your filing status and the exact amount of your refund request. The status will dictate next actions. In most cases, the answer is to be patient and wait for the IRS to complete the process and issue the refund.

Questions about your refund? We can help. Contact us.

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