What to Do if My Taxes Are Still Being Processed
Filing taxes can be a stressful process, and it becomes even more frustrating when your tax return is still being processed. While the IRS typically processes returns within 21 days, there are several reasons why your return may be delayed. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take to address the issue and ensure your tax return is processed promptly.
1. Check your status online: The first thing you should do is visit the IRS website and use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. This online tool provides real-time updates on the status of your return, including whether it has been received, approved, or if further action is needed.
2. Review your return for errors: Double-check your tax return for any mistakes or missing information. Incorrect or incomplete returns may trigger delays in processing. Make sure all your personal details, income, deductions, and credits are accurately reported. If you discover an error, you may need to file an amended return.
3. Contact the IRS: If it has been more than 21 days since you filed your return and the “Where’s My Refund?” tool does not provide any updates, consider contacting the IRS directly. They have a dedicated phone line for refund inquiries, which you can find on their website. Be prepared to provide your social security number, filing status, and the exact amount of your anticipated refund.
4. Verify your identity: In some cases, the IRS may need to verify your identity before processing your return. This usually occurs if they suspect identity theft or fraudulent activity. If you receive an IRS notice requesting additional information to verify your identity, follow the instructions carefully and promptly provide the requested documents.
5. Wait for a letter from the IRS: If there are any issues with your return, the IRS will likely send you a letter explaining the problem. This letter will provide instructions on how to resolve the issue and may require you to submit additional documentation or make corrections. Read the letter thoroughly and take the necessary steps outlined within the given timeframe.
6. Consider contacting a tax professional: If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own or are unsure about how to proceed, it may be beneficial to consult a tax professional. They can help you navigate the IRS system, address any concerns, and ensure your return is accurately processed.
7. Be patient: While it can be frustrating to experience delays, it’s important to remember that the IRS processes millions of tax returns each year. Factors such as high volume, errors, or the need for further review can contribute to delays. In most cases, delays are resolved within a reasonable timeframe.
8. Follow up if necessary: If an extended period has passed without any updates or resolution, it may be necessary to follow up with the IRS. Contact their customer service line and inquire about the status of your return. Provide them with any relevant information or documentation they may require.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why is my tax return still being processed?
There are various reasons why your tax return may be delayed, such as errors on your return, identity verification requirements, or the need for further review.
2. How long does it take for the IRS to process a tax return?
Typically, the IRS processes returns within 21 days. However, this timeline can vary depending on several factors.
3. What should I do if I made an error on my tax return?
If you realize you made an error on your tax return, you may need to file an amended return. Consult the IRS guidelines on how to correct mistakes.
4. How do I verify my identity with the IRS?
If the IRS suspects identity theft or fraudulent activity, they may require you to provide additional identification documents. Follow the instructions provided in the notice they send you.
5. Will I receive interest on my delayed refund?
No, the IRS does not provide interest on delayed refunds.
6. Can I check the status of my return online?
Yes, the IRS provides an online tool called “Where’s My Refund?” that allows you to check the status of your return in real-time.
7. Should I contact the IRS if my return is still being processed after 21 days?
If it has been more than 21 days and the online tool does not provide any updates, it may be advisable to contact the IRS directly for further assistance.
8. What if I’m unable to resolve the issue on my own?
If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own or are unsure about how to proceed, consider seeking help from a tax professional who can guide you through the process.