Where Is My 2020 Tax Refund?

Sue Schloemer

Jun 19, 2021

Where’s my 2020 tax refund?  If you are asking this question you are not alone.  In May 2021, the Tax Advocate Service provided an update stating the IRS has struggled to handle a recent backlog of about 30 million tax returns.  About half of the backlog is 2020 individual tax returns that were suspended during processing. These returns were flagged for a manual review to verify the legitimacy of some aspect of the tax return.  A tax return flagged for review does not necessarily mean something is wrong.  The IRS is just taking a closer look.

Many things can trigger a tax return for a review.  Some of the more common triggers are matching the Recovery Rebate Credit claimed on the tax return to the IRS records, potentially missing information, identity theft or fraud verification measures, and earned income or child tax credits.

As a result of COVID, there were long periods during which many IRS employees worked from home.  To protect the confidentiality and security of tax return information, the IRS restricted activities that could be performed on a remote basis.  This coupled with the IRS diverting resources to the issuance of stimulus payments and launching the Advance Child Tax Credit payments that will begin in July have contributed to the backlogs.

Where can you get information about your 2020 Tax Refund?

Live telephone assistance from the IRS is extremely limited at this time.  During the tax filing season, only 9% of calls to the IRS were answered.  Contacting the IRS at this time is not accelerating the process for your tax refund.  For tax returns that have been flagged and are waiting for someone to begin the manual review process, the IRS status will remain in the received and in-process stage.  You can check the status of your tax return by going to www.irs.gov and choosing “Get Your Refund Status.”  The IRS website indicates that it is taking more than 21 days to issue refunds, but, in reality, many taxpayers are finding that this is taking 8-10 weeks or significantly longer.

We will continue to monitor the IRS website for updates and communicate any new information. If you need more information please contact us.

About The Author

Sue enjoys helping clients succeed. Her breadth and depth of accounting knowledge combined with over 25 years of…

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