• Schoelles and Associates

IRS Processing Delays

Haven't received your refund? You're not alone.


May 28, 2021 Excerpt courtesy of IRS.gov


The IRS is now opening mail within normal timeframes. The IRS has also made significant progress in processing prior year returns. As of May 22, 2021, we had less than 100,000 individual tax returns received prior to 2021 in the processing pipeline. Including current year returns, as of May 22, 2021, we had 18.2 million unprocessed individual returns in the pipeline. Unprocessed returns include those requiring correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount or validation of 2019 income used to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). This work does not require us to correspond with taxpayers but does require special handling by an IRS employee so, in these instances, it is taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund. If, as a result, a correction is made to any RRC, EITC or ACTC claimed on the return, the IRS will send taxpayers an explanation. Taxpayers are encouraged to continue to check Where’s My Refund? for their personalized refund status and can review Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions.

How long you may have to wait: The IRS understands the importance of timely processing of tax returns and refund issuance. We are processing returns received over the summer and fall in 2020 due to the extended July 15, 2020 tax filing due date. While the majority of 2019 refund returns have been processed, in some cases, we are processing tax returns that were mailed with a payment even though payment associated with these returns have been processed by the IRS. However, we are rerouting tax returns and taxpayer correspondence from locations that are behind to locations where more staff is available, and we are taking other actions to minimize any delays. Tax returns are opened in the order received. As the return is processed, it may be delayed because it has a mistake including errors concerning the Recovery Rebate Credit, is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud. If we can fix it without contacting you, we will. If we need more information or need you to verify that it was you who sent the tax return, we will write you a letter. The resolution of these issues depends on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the processing of your return.

What you should do: If you filed electronically and received an acknowledgement, you do not need to take any further action other than promptly responding to any requests for information. If you filed on paper, check Where’s my refund? If it tells you we have received your return or are processing or reviewing it, we are processing your return, but it may be under review. We’re working hard to get through the backlog. Please don’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.


Status of Processing Form 941, Employ


er’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund: The IRS is now opening mail within normal timeframes. The IRS h


as also made significant progress in processing Forms 941. As of May 6, 2021, we had about 200,000 Forms 941 received prior to 2021 in the processing pipeline. Including current year returns, as of May 6, 2021, we had 1.9 million unprocessed 941s in the pipeline. We are rerouting tax returns and taxpayer correspondence from locations that are behind to locations where more staff is available, and we are taking other actions to minimize any delays. Tax returns are opened in the order received. If you filed electronically and received an acknowledgement, you do not need to take any further action other than promptly responding to any requests for information. We’re working hard to get through the backlog. Please don’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return. As of May 7, 2021, our inventory of unprocessed Forms 941-X was approximately 100,000 which cannot be processed until the related 941s are processed. While not all of these returns involve a COVID credit, the inventory is being worked at two sites (Cincinn


ati and Ogden) that have trained staff to work possible COVID credits.

Payment Processing Issue: We identified a delay in processing Form 1040 balance due, Form 1040-X amended, and Form 1040-ES estimated tax payment requests submitted via Modernized e-File. The issue has been resolved, and pending payments are being processed. The taxpayer’s account will be credited with the original requested payment date(s). Taxpayers should not re-resubmit these payments.

If a taxpayer re-submitted any of these payment requests due to the delay in processing, they may cancel them by calling 888-353-4537. Cancellation requests must be received no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, at least two business days prior to a scheduled payment date.

E-filing your 2020 tax return: To e-file you will need to enter your AGI from your tax year 2019 tax return. If your 2019 return has not yet been processed, you may enter $ 0 (zero) as your prior year Adjusted Gross Income. If you used the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool last year to register for an Economic Impact Payment, enter “$1” as your prior year AGI. See Claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return.


For more information: IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue | Internal Revenue Service


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