Your tax refund might be delayed for being resequenced. The Where’s My Refund (WMR) tool might tell you that “Your tax return is still being processed. A refund date will be provided when available.” Resequenced circumstances happen behind the scenes while your tax return is being processed and can sometimes cause a delay of your tax refund.
Resequencing is often involved with the validity of a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN). A mismatch of identification creates a problem in segments of the IRS Individual Master File (IMF). To resolve a mismatch, accounts need consolidated or “merged”. The IRS calls this resequencing.
When the system identifies a mismatch it usually requires research or change to your file by someone at the IRS to resolve the problem. Resolving TIN related problems can delay processing of your tax return and tax refund. Each person/entity may only have one identification number in the system. A SSN is never “recycled” or reused. Below are some reasons resequencing could be necessary.
Examples of TIN related problems
- Two taxpayers file a return with the same identity number.
- Transposed numbers
- Name Changes
- Identity theft
When two taxpayers file a return with the same number it could indicate identity theft. This is a case where ownership needs determined. Other types of problems can happen if the the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued the same number to two people. Or, the SSA could have issued one taxpayer two social security numbers. If a taxpayer somehow has more than one SSN, the IRS will advise them to make contact with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to see which social security number they should be using on their tax return.
A file can be tagged for resequencing as short as 2 weeks until the end of the year. Resequencing can move your return out for one or more cycles for processing. The actions happen on the master file and the reason code for the resequenced transaction is something the IRS will see. Resequenced Codes occur in the IMF only, not on transcripts.
A clue that your tax return has been resequenced is if the As of date on your account transcript. When you see on your transcript that the “As Of” date is extended 1-2 weeks, this could mean that your file has been resequenced but does not indicate how long it will take to resolve.
A different reason your tax refund could be delayed is an unpostable transaction. It is something that happens where a transaction can’t be posted to the Individual Master File (IMF). If something that needs resequenced and isn’t resolved it can become unpostable. Then the return will require additional corrective action by the IRS. There will be a reason code but it is not something available to see on your transcript. The process to correct unpostable tax return can take 6-8 weeks.
Read More: What is unpostable tax return?