Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Your tax return is still being processed. A refund date will be provided when available.
The meaning of this message on Where’s My Refund does not mean there is a problem with your tax return. It is not time to panic. If you check on the status of your tax refund and you see the message “Your tax return is still being processed. A refund date will be provided when available.” it rarely means your tax return is being audited and doesn’t always indicate there is a problem.
Sometimes it’s as easy as your return needing to be reviewed or some additional action needs to be taken by the IRS. It could be something as simple as a small calculation error that needs fixing or that your identity needs verification. We have found over the years that the “tax return still being processed” message is rarely related to major problems for your tax return. Many times it will resolve within 1-2 IRS processing cycle without you needing to take action.
When you see that your tax return is still being processed, all this means is that something is preventing the IRS from standing behind their mantra that most refunds will be processed within 21 days. Maybe a hiccup. But again, don’t worry, your refund might still come anytime. Sometimes it is just a mystery because a lot of IRS actions are taken behind the scenes. You might be able to find more about what is happening on your tax account by looking at your tax account transcript.
Year after year people are frustrated while they are still waiting on their tax refund while they see others getting their refunds very quickly. We have learned that there are some simple reasons why your file hasn’t been processed as quickly as others. For example, your return may be resequenced or unpostable.
What you can do if your tax return is still processing.
We think the best thing to do is not worry. It can be hard to not worry when you are waiting on a tax refund. Quite frankly, many people depend on large tax refunds each year. After you see the still processing message, typically you can expect to see a status update in the next weekly or daily cycle. If something else is required on your part, the IRS will generate a letter to the address on your tax return.
Calling the IRS for this reason will not likely yield actionable intel. In fact, if you call more than once we have found that one representative could give you a reason and another could give you a totally different explanation. The feedback you get from an IRS representative isn’t always reliable.
Wait for the next WMR update and keep an eye out in the mail for a letter. If something is needed on your part, they will let you know. The IRS will never reach out to you by telephone if there is a problem. They will always send requests to you by mail.
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.
Read more: What happens when your tax return is resequenced?
An unpostable transaction is something that happens where a transaction can’t be posted to the Individual Master File (IMF). If this happens, the return will require some sort of corrective action by the IRS. The reason code is not something available for you to see on your transcript. The process to correct unpostable tax return can take 6-8 weeks.
Read more: What happens when something is unpostable?