In past years, the IRS sends most refunds within three weeks of taxpayers filing their returns. But this year is complicated by several issues, including a backlog of 2019 paper tax returns that the IRS was unable to process after closing its offices during the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent notice from the IRS said that some people may experience a longer than average wait for their payments. That may especially impact tax returns that need a correction due to changes made by the Recovery Rebate Credit — a tax credit adjustment for people who were owed more stimulus money — or to verify income for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), according to the agency.
When the stimulus package was signed into law at the end of December, it was too late for the IRS to adjust its forms and computer systems for provisions related to the EITC and the ACTC. That means tax returns with this issue must be corrected by hand rather than via computer.
The IRS suggests that taxpayers check the status of their refund using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on its site https://www.irs.gov/refunds. Where’s My Refund? will give you a personalized date after the IRS processes your return and approves your refund.