What Does It Mean When IRS Says “Still Processing”?

When the IRS says “still processing,” it means that they have received your tax return and are in the process of reviewing and verifying the information you provided. This message typically appears on the IRS’s Where’s My Refund? tool after you have filed your tax return electronically or mailed it in. While it is normal for the IRS to take some time to process returns, many taxpayers become concerned when they see this message and wonder what it means for their refund.

Here are 8 frequently asked questions about what it means when the IRS says “still processing” and their corresponding answers:

1. Why does the IRS say “still processing”?
The IRS uses this message to inform taxpayers that their tax return is being reviewed, and the processing of their refund is not yet complete.

2. How long does it take for the IRS to process a return?
The IRS typically processes electronic returns within three weeks and paper returns within six weeks. However, due to various factors, it may take longer in some cases.

3. Does “still processing” mean there is a problem with my return?
Not necessarily. The message simply indicates that your return is still being reviewed and processed. It does not necessarily mean there is an issue with your return.

4. What can cause delays in processing my return?
Several factors can contribute to delays, such as errors or inconsistencies in the return, missing or incomplete information, claims for certain credits or deductions that require additional verification, or issues with the IRS’s processing systems.

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5. Should I call the IRS if I see the “still processing” message?
Calling the IRS will not expedite the processing of your return. The IRS’s phone lines are often busy, and their representatives may not have access to information beyond what is available on the Where’s My Refund? tool.

6. Can I expect my refund if the IRS says “still processing”?
While it is likely that you will receive your refund, it may take longer than anticipated due to the processing delays. The IRS advises against making major financial decisions based on the anticipated timing of your refund.

7. How can I check the status of my refund while it is still processing?
You can use the IRS’s Where’s My Refund? tool on their website or the IRS2Go mobile app to check the status of your refund. It provides real-time updates on the progress of your return.

8. What should I do if my return is still processing after the expected time?
If your return has been processing for longer than the average processing time and you have not received any notices from the IRS, you can contact their customer service for assistance. They may be able to provide additional information or help resolve any issues.

In conclusion, when the IRS says “still processing,” it simply means that they are reviewing and verifying the information on your tax return. While it can be frustrating to wait for your refund, it is important to remain patient as the IRS works through the processing of returns. If you have concerns or questions, it is best to use the IRS’s online tools or contact their customer service for assistance.

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