The IRS launches a new Where’s my Refund? Status message in 2022 to inform taxpayers of tax return processing delays.
What is “We apologize, but your tax return processing has been delayed beyond the normal timeframe” mean?
This refund status is informing you that the IRS has paused/delayed the processing of your tax return. And due to the delay in processing, they can no longer guarantee your tax refund within the 21-day time frame. If you are seeing this refund status “We apologize, but your tax return processing has been delayed beyond the normal timeframe” it means the IRS can no longer guarantee your refund within the 21-day time frame. The reason you are seeing this message is that you have reached your 21-day marker in the system and the IRS is informing you that they are going to need additional time to process your tax return.
What is the IRS timeframe for normal tax return processing?
A typical tax return with no processing issues can go from accepted to approved in as little as 21 days. Tax returns with no processing issues could see tax refunds go out in 21 days or less. Typically, nine out of 10 refunds filed electronically go out in this time frame.
Why is my tax return delayed beyond the normal timeframe?
IRS employees are continuing to work hard to deliver tax refunds as soon as possible to taxpayers in record time. This is an unprecedented time for the IRS given the things that have happened over the past 2 years including the pandemic, new tax laws, stimulus, and advanced child tax credit payments. This scenario is unfolding at a time when the IRS has fewer resources and staffing than a decade ago.
The IRS knows this is a desperate time for taxpayers and is assuring that they will continue to do everything they can to help. They will continue to deliver tax refunds to people as fast as possible, with an average of more than 1 million refunds being issued every day to the nation’s taxpayers.
The IRS is handling more responsibilities at a time when its budget and staffing have been sharply reduced during the last decade. As the Congressional Budget Office and others have noted, the IRS budget and staffing is down about 20 percent – meaning the IRS has 20,000 fewer people available to help on tax season and other issues.
The IRS is still working through the impacts of COVID-19, which created staffing shortages and closures
The IRS phone lines continue to be very busy with high call demand with millions of people calling in so far this tax season. They currently employ about 13,760 phone assistors, including about 3,800 hired this filing season. They are hoping to onboard another 1,000 phone assistors using funding associated with the American Rescue Plan.”
How long will I see this refund status?
This message just rolled out on 2.5.22 and at this point, It is unclear how long the delay in processing could last for your tax return. With IRS staff shortages the IRS is still backlogged with previous year’s tax returns.
The IRS will mail you a letter if your tax return has issues or errors
If there is an issue with a tax return that requires additional review, that can add time for some taxpayers, but it varies depending on the issue. Many factors can affect the timing of a refund. Common errors the IRS is seeing this filing season include people not reporting their third Economic Impact Payments and Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments accurately. Tax returns with an error, incomplete information, or those affected by identity theft or fraud may take longer to process. If more information is needed to process the return, the IRS will send the taxpayer a letter with a request for information.
Online tools help avoid delays
The IRS urges people to visit IRS.gov and use tools like “Where’s My Refund” and “Get My Transcripts” for the quickest assistance. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to receive a refund; it’s even more important during the pandemic to avoid filing a paper return if at all possible.