Why Does My Taxes Say Still Being Processed?

If you recently filed your tax return and are seeing the status “still being processed” on the IRS website or through tax software, you may be wondering why it is taking so long and what it means. Here are some possible reasons and explanations for this status:

1. High volume of tax returns: During peak tax season, the IRS receives millions of tax returns, resulting in a backlog of processing. This increased workload can cause delays and lead to the “still being processed” status.

2. Errors or missing information: If there are errors or inconsistencies in your tax return, the IRS may need more time to review and correct them. Missing or incomplete information can also cause delays in processing.

3. Identity verification: The IRS prioritizes preventing identity theft and fraudulent tax filings. If your return raises any red flags, such as potential identity theft, the IRS may require additional verification, leading to a longer processing time.

4. Manual review: In some cases, the IRS may need to manually review your tax return, especially if it includes complex deductions, credits, or other unique circumstances. This can lengthen the processing time.

5. Prior year’s outstanding issues: If you have unresolved issues from previous tax years, such as unpaid taxes or unfiled returns, the IRS may hold your current return until these issues are resolved.

6. Form processing delays: If your tax return includes specific forms that are experiencing processing delays, such as those related to certain credits or deductions, it can cause your return to be held up.

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7. Refund processing: If you are expecting a refund, the “still being processed” status may simply mean that the IRS is working on issuing your refund. This process can take time, especially if there are errors or discrepancies that need to be resolved.

8. COVID-19 pandemic: The ongoing pandemic has impacted IRS operations, leading to delays in processing tax returns. Limited staffing, remote work arrangements, and other challenges have contributed to longer processing times.


1. How long does it take for the IRS to process a tax return?
The processing time can vary, but generally, it takes about 21 days for the IRS to process an electronically filed tax return. Paper returns can take longer, up to six weeks or more.

2. What should I do if my tax return is still being processed after 21 days?
If it has been more than 21 days since you filed your return and the status remains “still being processed,” you can contact the IRS for an update. They may ask for additional information or provide an explanation for the delay.

3. Will calling the IRS help expedite the processing of my tax return?
Calling the IRS will not expedite the processing of your return. The representatives can only provide general information and updates on the status of your return.

4. Will the “still being processed” status delay my refund?
Yes, the “still being processed” status indicates that your refund is still being worked on. Delays in processing can affect the timing of your refund.

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5. Can I still make changes to my tax return if it is being processed?
Once your return is being processed, you generally cannot make changes to it. However, if you identify a mistake, you can file an amended return to correct it.

6. When should I be concerned if the status remains “still being processed” for too long?
If it has been more than 10 weeks since you filed your return and the status is still “still being processed,” you may want to contact the IRS to ensure there are no issues or errors causing the delay.

7. Does the “still being processed” status mean I am being audited?
Not necessarily. While an audit is possible, the “still being processed” status is more commonly due to other factors such as high volume, errors, or missing information.

8. Can I check the status of my refund if my tax return says “still being processed”?
Yes, you can still check the status of your refund using the IRS “Where’s My Refund” tool, even if your return is still being processed. The tool will provide updates on the progress of your refund.

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