Some IRS Refunds Delayed

Article Posted on 07/06/2021

As of late June, many taxpayers still have not yet received their federal income tax refund.  In typical years, the IRS has processed income tax refunds in about 21 days, but the 2020 tax year was anything but typical.   

By mid-June of 2019, there were approximately 2.3 million unprocessed tax returns.  This year at mid-June, that number was 11.4 million.  There are many reasons for the delay in refunds and for many of them, the IRS is not at fault. 

First, the tax deadline was moved to May 17th this year which led to many returns being filed after the normal April 15th deadline.  In addition, the IRS is still dealing with a backlog of data and staffing issues from the 2020 pandemic.   

With the passage of the American Rescue Plan in March of 2021, a portion of unemployment benefits became non-taxable on 2020 tax returns for some taxpayers.  The IRS has been working to identify those taxpayers and issue refunds to them without requiring amended tax returns.  Finally, another provision of the American Rescue Plan created the need for the IRS to develop a system for payment of the 2021 advance child tax credit.  

The IRS has listed the following reasons that a refund might be delayed: 

  • Your tax return has errors or is incomplete. 

  • There is suspected identity theft or fraud. 

  • Your return needs further review. 

  • Your return contains the earned income tax credit. 

  • Your return contains the additional child tax credit.   

To check the status of your refund, you can go to and click on “Get Your Refund Status”, then “Check My Refund Status”.  You will need to enter the taxpayer social security number, your filing status, and the dollar amount of the refund.   

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