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Posted by Pat Raskob

Possible Reasons You haven't Gotten Your Tax Refund

Possible Reasons You haven't Gotten Your Tax Refund

It is normal to wonder when Uncle Sam will send your tax refunds if you have filed your taxes for the year. The IRS reveals that nine of ten taxpayers that file electronically can expect their tax refunds within 21 days of filing. 

However, there are times that the 21 days window might have elapsed, and you still haven't gotten your tax refunds. This article sheds light on things you can do.


Possible Reasons for a late tax refund

The delivery of your tax refund is hinged on many things. For instance, filing too early or waiting till the last minute might delay the refund. Any change in the tax code after you have filed might delay the refunds. 

Also, when you file a paper return, be ready to wait for your refunds. Filing electronically has been proven to be the fastest way to get a refund. 

Besides the above, here are possible causes of delay of  your tax refund:

  1. There is inaccurate information on your tax return

The presence of errors and other mistakes on your tax return might slow down your refund. A mistake in your return triggers a review. This means that an IRS agent will be assigned to review your return for the mistake. This can lead to a more extended processing period. 

  1. You File and Incomplete Return

Uncle Sam will review your return if your tax return is not complete. As expected, your refund will be delayed. When you filed a paper return, for instance, and you did not include vital information, or you did not sign, Uncle Sam will wait till you amend these before processing your return and refund. 

  1. You claimed Some tax credits. 

People love tax credits as it reduces the final amount they send to Uncle Sam. Some tax credits like Additional Child Tax Credit and Earned Income tax Credit attract additional review from Uncle Sam because some taxpayers could claim these credit fraudulently. 

As a result, if you claim these credits, have in mind that your refund will be delayed. 

  1. There was an Amendment on Your Tax Return 

When you make any correction on your tax refund, there could be delays as well. If you intend to amend a tax return of older years, you need to send them a letter. Even though the IRS recently changed the rule to allow for electronic filing of some years. 

In situations like this, it could take up to three weeks before the IRS views it and another four months for the processing. This translates to a wait of several months for the refunds. 

  1. You are a victim of Fraud (Identity theft, Tax fraud)

Tax fraud comes in many ways. Someone might use your data to file a fake tax return and also claim your refund. Uncle Sam discovered over 58,000 fake refund claims, and about 14,000 of this was linked to identity theft.

As a result, get in touch with Uncle Sam and the Federal Trade Commission if you believe you are a tax fraud victim. 

  1. You Had a Debt, and Your Refund was offset to pay the debt

Uncle Sam can offset your refund with the balance you owe for people who owe some debts like unpaid state taxes and child support or federal student loans. The federal Bureau of Fiscal Service will typically send you a notice informing you of the reason your refund was diverted, alongside the agency that you owe. 

The taxpayer, however, can dispute the debt with the receiving agency.


Impact of COVID-19 on Tax Refunds 

Alongside the various reasons discussed above, one significant cause for delayed processing of refund for the 2020 tax year is the Corona Virus's impact. This might cause a substantial delay for a taxpayer who files with paper as Uncle Sam operates with limited staff due to the pandemic's restriction.



Pat Raskob
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