What does “Your tax return is still being processed” mean?
Why did my refund status update to “Your tax return is still being processed”?
The reason for a “Still Being Processing” status is because the IRS processing station system was alerted that something is not complete and does not match the IRS records on file with your tax account. It is possible that the IRS may need you to verify further information to complete the processing stage of your tax return.
Typically, when you see the “still being processed” tax refund status, the IRS system has paused the processing of your tax return until the information can be verified and corrected.
What things could trigger the still being processed tax refund status?
- Identity Verification
- Errors found on the tax return
- Questionable Refundable Tax Credits
- Wage and Withholding verification
What types of letters could be issued if I have the “still being processed” tax refund status?
- 5216C – Identity Verification
- 12C – Errors found on tax return
- CP11/CP12 – Math Errors
- 3219C/ 4800C – Questionable Refundable Credits
- CP05A – Wage and Withholding Verification
When your refund status changes and you lose your refund status bars to a “Still Being Processed” message
Don’t panic if you happen to see the “still being processed” refund status. The IRS is still working to complete your tax return but the processing has been paused until the IRS corrects the return or mails you a letter requesting additional information from you to complete the processing of your tax return.
This is the procedure the IRS will use to correct the issue:
- Some simple errors like math errors, spelling errors, etc. will be corrected by the IRS and your tax refund status should update to the “being processed” message or a direct deposit date once the issue is corrected.
- In more complex situations like verifying information, identity verification, incomplete or missing forms, and multiple other reasons you could be waiting for a letter to arrive by mail requesting further information. Once you have completed the steps in the letter the IRS will update your account with the corrected information. Once the system acknowledges the adjustments to the account your tax refund status should update to the “being processed” message or a direct deposit date once the issue is corrected.
Remember everybody’s tax obligations are different
The “still being processed” tax refund status could mean different things for different taxpayers. But one thing is certain if you are seeing this tax refund status most likely the system found some type of error or incomplete information on your tax return.
What does this mean for my tax return?
The IRS still has your tax return but things are essentially paused until the IRS corrects any issues and/or gets the additional information from you to correct the issue and continue processing your tax return. You will either get directions on the Where’s My Refund(WMR) or IRS2Go portals or the IRS will contact you with notice by mail. Follow the provided instructions and return any additional information ASAP to get your potential refund and reduce any further delays. Talk to your accountant, tax advocate, or tax professional if you are not clear on what the IRS is asking for or you don’t get an update after 21 days.
Having online access to your Account Transcripts can help you see what is going on inside your account
If you have your tax refund status is stuck on “Still Being Processed” and WMR is telling you nothing, you need to obtain your account transcripts from the IRS transcripts page to get more information.
Transcript of somebody with the “Still Being Processed” message on WMR
On your Account Transcripts monitor the list of codes under the Explanations of Transactions section on the bottom of the page, if you see a “971 Notice Sent” this could mean the IRS will be mailing you correspondence.