Why is my tax return delayed?

Better Call 4

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The extended tax filing deadline of May 17 has come and gone, and since then, IRS Spokesperson Luis Garcia says many American taxpayers have already received their refunds.

“If you file electronically, and you ask for a direct deposit, it’s 21 days or less for you to get that refund,” said Garcia. “On average, we’ve been hitting that mark.”

But others are still waiting. They say it’s been weeks, and they’ve yet to see a single cent — like Peggy, who tells Better Call 4 that she’s been waiting for her refund for two and a half months.

What’s the hold up?

Garcia said it could simply be the way you filed your taxes.

“If you filed by paper, and you asked for a paper check, you’re looking at six to eight, sometimes 12 weeks before you get that refund,” said Garcia.

He adds that there are several possible reasons for a delay.

“First off, you may have forgotten a document,” said Garcia. “That’s going to get your return pulled out, and then we’re going to have to ask you for an update.”

Additionally, the agency is working to crack down on fraudulent filers, which could slow down the process.

“We are going to protect you, and we’re going to protect the taxpayer, to make sure that money doesn’t get sent out without us doing our due diligence and making sure that you are in fact who you say you are, and that none of it is fraudulent.”

Finally, Garcia says COVID-19 created its own challenges. The agency pushed back the start of filing season by several weeks, causing a backlog. Add to that, the constraints of working during a pandemic.

“It’s not an easy thing. But we’re doing the best that we can with the resources that we have, and we also understand that people need their money,” said Garcia. “The message is for those of you who have not received your refund, just please bear with us.”

Garcia also said the IRS was tasked with issuing more than 165 million stimulus payments and is preparing to issue the Advanced Child Tax Credit payments, starting this summer.

The IRS also provides information for anyone still waiting for a refund, or with questions about a filing status, or for those who missed the filing deadline on its website.

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