IRS: Four reasons your tax refund is late

If you are still waiting on your tax refund, you’re not alone.

tax refund

The IRS is backed up an 9.6 million returns are still waiting to be processed.


Stimulus: Don’t miss the deadline to claim $800

1. There are mistakes

Simple mistakes happen, but it can delay your return. Some of the most common errors are related to the Recovery Rebate or child tax credit because there were major changes to them in 2021. Find more information here.

Other mistakes are missing details or mixed up numbers with your banking information. Fixing the mistakes could take 3-4 months according to the IRS. They will send you a letter if they need more information, otherwise will fix it themselves.

2. You didn’t file electronically

Filing electronically will ensure that you get your refund faster. If the information is correct and there are no errors, you should get your refund within 21 days.

Paper returns could take 6-8 weeks. Paper returns also have the risk of getting lost in the mail.

3. You filed an amended return

If you made a mistake filing your taxes, you may have filed an amendment known as document 1040-X.

This is used for change in filing status and correcting mistakes related to income or credits. Amended returns can take more than 20 weeks to process.

The IRS has 2.3 million unprocessed 1040-X forms.


Social Security: 10 best states to retire to and collect benefits

4. Suspected Identity theft

It is possible that you could be a victim of identity theft and not know it. If the IRS expects that you may be a victim, they will send you a letter. Other signs that might hint to identity theft are:

  • You’ve been assigned an employer identification number but did not request one
  • If your existing account is disabled or accessed when you did not make this move
  • You received income from an employer you didn’t work for
  • An online account gets created in your name

What can I do?

If you could be a victim of identity theft, contact the number on the notice from the IRS. In the case that you didn’t get a letter, you can contact teh IRS for help at 800-908-4490.

For other questions about your refund, use the IRS’s Where’s my Refund? tool. The IRS updates it every 24 hours.


Social Security: Best age to apply for benefits