An unpostable happens when your return is unable to be posted to the master file. It can happen for a multitude of reasons. They usually take about 6-8 weeks to close the open unpostable then at that point you are put back into que as a normal filer which can take up to an additional 6-8 weeks. There is no department that handles unpostables as they have to go through and be checked by every error department until they find out what is causing the return to not post automatically. “Each IDRS transaction is subjected to a series of validity checks prior to posting to the Master File. A transaction is termed unpostable when it fails to pass any of the validity checks and is then returned to the campus for follow up action(s).” -http://www.irs.gov/irm/part21/irm_21-005-005.html
The errors that can occur include identity theft, incorrect bank account info, fraudulent filing, general errors in filing, and the use of the incorrect types of forms to name a few. Unlike other errors, unpostables are not an easy fix, and reps actually generally know very little of what caused the problem so they may sometimes not mention the unpostable status.
I, myself, am an unpostable. When I found out, I was only told that they were having to verify some informtion and that might take up to 8 weeks. She never said that I was unpostable, just that “she didn’t know what they were verifying” and that “there was nothing I could do”. I was indeed unpostable at that time, and was not informed of this until the next week when I tried calling again.
So, now you are probably wondering: “Am I unpostable?” Chances are most likely not.
This situation is actually very rare. The irs states “9 out of 10 returns were processed in 21 days or less last year and we expect the same this year as well”..but IT CAN TAKE A RETURN WITH NO ERRORS UP TO 8 WEEKS TO PROCESS. (Again, it is quite rare, but it happens)… If you have been processing, however, for over 5 weeks and theres no reason they give you and you dont get any kind of letters, you may want to ask if you are unpostable. (It wont hurt to ask!) Make sure to ask what date you went unpostable (as your 6-8 weeks starts from that date) and if it is closed or open. Sometimes you might get a rep whom is nice enough to tell you what they might be looking for to make it go unpostable (i.e. identity theft, etc.).
Good luck and may your ddd get here soon!
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Another summary of this topic can be found at: https://igotmyrefund.com/unpostable/