As soon as your return is accepted by the IRS, whether it was before or after the opening date, it’s analyzed automatically by the computer systems before processing actually begins to see if there are any red flags. Any number of things causes the system to flag a certain taxpayer ranging from a history of errors on prior years, early filing, increase/decrease in reported income, new dependents, fewer dependents, itemized deductions, etc… the list goes on. This is just an explanation of the bars disappearing on the Where’s My Refund Site. If you go to the WMR FAQ you’ll see this:
Does Where’s My Refund always display my refund status with the tracker showing three steps?
No. In some cases the tracker graphic will not be shown if your return is being reviewed prior to step two: “Refund Approved,” and instead an explanation or instructions will be provided depending on the situation. This can happen even if you previously checked Where’s My Refund and it showed the status as “Return Received” along with the tracker. In these cases be assured that we have your tax return and we are processing it. Please follow the directions provided by Where’s My Refund?. Otherwise, if the IRS need more information we will contact you – usually by mail. If the IRS sends you a letter about your return, please follow the instructions in the letter as soon as possible.
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