Still waiting on your tax refund? Here are some options for you


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Millions of people are still waiting to get their tax refunds, some from as far back as the 2019 tax year.

The pandemic caused the Internal Revenue Service to run at reduced capacity. Add to that, two rounds of stimulus payments, stir in childcare tax credit payments, and add new tax laws and you have a recipe for a backlog that is frustrating to those who want their refunds.

C.P.A. Rob Davis is finding a significant number of clients are frustrated – waiting for refunds.

“It’s 15 to 20 percent of the returns filed that haven’t received refunds,” said Davis. “I suspect it might be even higher.”

That 15-20 percent delay is only for people who filed electronically. If you mailed it in, it’s worse.

“If you filed a paper return, you’re looking at months before they’ll even process the return because they’re still working on a backlog of 2019 returns filed in 2020,” said Davis.

You can try calling the IRS but only about 7 percent of callers are getting through. Davis told CBS 17 it’s not much better for tax preparers.

“We have a separate line we can call as tax practitioners and we have about the same results being able to get through,” he said.

That leaves online tools available via the IRS website as the only option.

To track your refund, Go to the “get refund status” tab.

If you use that tool, be aware that you’ll have to give up some personal information including your social security number as well as your filing status and what you are owed.

The IRS also has a mobile app that will do much the same thing.

Those tools are updated nightly, and they will show one of three messages:

  • RECEIVED meaning it’s there but unprocessed
  • APPROVED which means it’s been processed
  • SENT which means it’s on its way by mail or direct deposit.

There’s also another option.

You can register to get a transcript of your return, but it’s a slower process than using online tools.

Davis said, “They only send that to the taxpayer.”

A tax preparer doesn’t have the option to get that for a client.

Be aware though, a transcript only gives you the status of your return, not an answer on when you’ll get your refund.

There is one bit of good news in all this waiting for your refund. Because it’s the IRS is holding it up, it will add interest to the refund when you finally get it.

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