COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — April’s tax filing deadline has come and gone, but millions of Americans are still waiting for their refunds.
According to IRS spokesperson Luis Garcia, there are several reasons why, including staffing shortages, tax law changes, and errors on returns and paper.
“Paper is our kryptonite,” said Garcia. “Paper just really slows everything down.”
Many of you affected by the delay have contacted Better Call 4, including one Columbus woman, Shari, who said she has not yet received the $2,268 she is owed.
In her case, Shari said she received a notice in the mail from the IRS in November of last year, stating that her 2020 return had “changed.” That’s because she moved to a new home, with a new address.
Shari said she checked the status of her return on IRS.gov, and according to the website, the direct deposit was returned to the IRS, because the address connected to her bank account did not match the one the agency had on file. That is something Garcia said is a common occurrence.
“A lot of people move, and they don’t let us know that they’ve moved,” said Garcia. “So, what happens, it gets bounced back to the IRS. And what we do is we hold onto it until you file again, and when you file again, we know where your address is, and we wrap it up with that year’s refund.”
That’s also because, Garcia said, the agency needs to verify that the information they have is correct and not the work of a fraudster.
“We want to make sure that this is in fact you, and not somebody trying to take your money,” she said.
Still, that’s going to take some time to sort out, Garcia said.
“It’s your money, we don’t want it, we want to get it to you, please be patient. We’re doing the best that we can with what we have,” Garcia said. “But we want to do it the right way so that we’re not giving money out to criminals.”
Garcia also said the IRS has 45 days after the filing deadline to process returns and send refunds. After that, the agency tacks on interest, meaning, you’ll get your money, and if it’s late, you’ll get it with interest.
If you want to check the status of your return, calling the IRS isn’t the way to do it. Because of staffing issues, you’ll just end up on hold. The best way to do it is to go straight to the IRS website.