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4 Reasons to explain what is slowing down tax refunds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

These are four reasons you could still be waiting on a tax refund. An example of a complicated return with stimulus credit (#4) is detailed below.

Backlog of Tax Returns

The IRS is still processing 20 million+ tax returns that were left in the dust when the IRS shutdown the agency in under 2 weeks due to pandemic.

Aging Computer Systems

The IRS still relies on “legacy” systems, some 25 years old.

Lack of Resources

The IRS has endured 8 years of 20% budget cuts. Staffing remains an issue and there are still people working from home.

Complicated Tax Returns

There are any number of reasons a tax return can be complicated. A new hurdle in 2021 is the reconciliation of Economic Income Payments (fancy way of saying stimulus) with claims for the Recovery Rebate Credit RRC (fancy way of saying you didn’t get a stimulus payment.)

Our sources say there is a bottleneck in reconciling some stimulus payments because of a misunderstanding in how to report (either by the taxpayer or by the preparer) the receipt of stimulus payments.

Complicated Example: Taxpayers with dependents who also file tax returns.

Despite correctly answering the question “Did you receive a stimulus….?”, the answer could be a problem for taxpayers with dependents who also file tax returns.

If the dependent said “no”, although true they didn’t receive the stimulus, to the IRS that meant the dependent is claiming the RRC and it is possible that was calculated as part of the refund. Because this would lead to an overpayment of stimulus, it doesn’t reconcile.

POST YOUR ACTUAL TAX REFUND EXPERIENCE HERE: This is a “user to user” site and the primary mode of support is peer-to-peer, meaning users helping other users. Admin and moderators are not always present or may not be right, or have answers to questions. Users become more informed when they are here often to read and comment. We call them Top Contributors. We are not a group of experts, merely individuals who have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the tax refund process.'

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Peggy

    My tax refund shows “one bar” for more then 21 days now what is going on? Should I call or wait it out?


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  2. SouSouSerious

    My refund was sent on 2/27 and as of 7/16 no refund. No CTC and the system still shows

    Your tax return is still being processed.
    A refund date will be provided when available


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  3. KIMBIB

    My federal return was e-filed and accepted on April 26th. It has been 81 days and still get the being processed answer. My daughter filed the same day and had her refund within 7 days. What gives?


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  4. Les

    My refund was received on 02/24/2021. It’s now 06/26/2021, and we still have not received anything.


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  5. Robert W Miller

    My Wife and I did our Taxes on March 2 2021. H & R Block did our taxes and we had direct deposit. Three months later we are still waiting for our Federal Refund. Why is it taking so long?


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  6. Gary

    @MissyJ: Not if your name is Al Sharpton. He’s owed the IRS and over 6 million dollars, plus interest and penalties, for many years.


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  7. Mad in Carolina

    E-filed my tax return and IRS accepted it 2 Mar and I am still “being processed.” I’m a senior and I need my money. How long are we to suffer?


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  8. MissyJ

    Filed my taxes at the beginning of March and still nothing! Bet your butt they’d have me in jail if I owed them money. Wtf get it done already!


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  9. Charlotte

    @ISH: I filed on Feb. 5, according to my tax preparer. Still getting the, “Your tax refund is still being processed.”


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  10. pissed off

    i’m in the same boat. filed mid march, and here it is, nearly May. what the frig?!?!? it’s not MY FAULT that i never received stimulus 1 and 2! i got a card saying i should have received stimulus 2, but no $$. i am PISSED!!!! i need that $$ now! how can i get it expedited?!?!?!?! if i owed, they’d sure be hounding me, but since it’s THEIR FAULT, they can take their sweet friggin time!!!! IT’S NOT FAIR AND IT’S NOT RIGHT!!!! I WANT MY MONEY NOW!


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  11. Scott27

    @Ashleah: geez I filed on Feb 28th same message now for almost 2 months. Funny/sad part is if I was late the would be charging us interest!


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  12. ISH

    @Ashleah: sorry ! We are in the same boat , it just incomprehensible .


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  13. Ashleah

    This is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous! We filed February 17th and it was Accepted by the IRS on the 18th and we STILL have NOT received our return. Why is it OK for the IRS to take their sweet time to pay us what we are owed, but if they’re owed a payment they will freeze your employement funds, or garnish your wages and make sure they get their money! I’m so sick of this BS! My husband and I are really needing that money to get our vehicle repaired and it’s not easy to find a job without a vehicle! Just sayin! Get with the program IRS!


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