Where’s the Fix? IRS ‘Where’s My Refund’ Glitch Stirs Anger

The Internal Revenue Service has not altered its website statement in four days on the glitch that is keeping its Where’s My Refund online tool from letting e-filers check the status of their refunds.

The delay is not only with the glitch but in overall refund time-frames, e-filers say. Delayed refunds have stirred up much frustration and anger among e-filers.

“We expect the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued within the historical range of 10 to 21 days,” the IRS said in a statement.

But commentators to eCreditDaily have said their refunds have been inexplicably delayed.

“I filed my return electronically on 2/3.,” said one e-filer. “The Where’s My Refund site said that I should receive my refund by 2/14. I finally got through to someone at the IRS on 2/16. She said that my return has not been processed yet. It has been ‘resequenced’.”

Another e-filer said someone from the IRS said the agency’s fraud alert system was delaying her refund.

“They stated that although it has been accepted, with the new fraud check they have to process it as well before a date will even show on their website,” the e-filer said. ‘”I was told I (should) wait 21 days, and if no refund, call back.”

Another angry commentator said the IRS lacks credibility.

“E-filed and accepted on 1/21. Claims to be ‘processing.’ Today is 2/19 and still no anticipated refund date and certainly no refund. IRS has NO credibility.”

On its website, the IRS said there are many factors that affect refund timetables reflected on Where’s My Refund.

Here the factors stated by the IRS:

  • The IRS balances customer service and tax compliance by reviewing tax returns to prevent fraudulent and erroneous refunds. These critical reviews could add time to refund processing, even for some legitimate returns.
  • The IRS may need time to fix a simple error, like a math error.
  • Refund timeframes can also be affected by such factors as bankruptcy, an open audit or a balance due on a related account such as a different tax year.

The current IRS statement reads:

We are aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit “Where’s My Refund” and are told that we have no information regarding their return. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit “Where’s My Refund.”

If a taxpayer received an acknowledgment message that their e-filed tax return has been received, they can be assured that the IRS has the tax return even though “Where’s My Refund” does not reflect that. Taxpayers should not call the IRS unless specifically directed by “Where’s My Refund,” as there is no new information to give them.

We expect the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued within the historical range of 10 to 21 days. The IRS is taking steps to update information so that Where’s My Refund has current information. The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience and will provide updated information as soon as possible.

J. Lipsky

Hello, I am John, born in Cedar Rapids, but lived a lot of years in Latin America. I am an economist and have specialized in credit and debt. Originally sovereign debt, but later on, in credit score management and debt consolidation. I write for many publications. Here in eCreditDaily, I write about credit, second chance banking, and debt. I also write for other websites and bulletins about inflation and country risk.

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