What’s the difference between a delinquent taxpayer and the IRS? Delinquent taxes are due right away, but the IRS now has a 16 week waiting period to even process most amended returns or other claims for refund. In addition to amended returns, paper filed returns are also subject to these extended wait times. Certain credits, especially the adoption credit, will drastically increase wait times. Fortunately there is some good news.
If you have timely filed your return and your refund is delayed by the IRS process, you may be entitled to interest on the cash the IRS is holding for you. The other good news is that if you are facing a financial hardship you may be able to get help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service. While the IRS works paper returns up on a first come first serve basis, you may be able to jump the line with some help from the Taxpayer Advocate if you can show that not having the money will do harm to you or your business. They can be reached at 1-877-777-4778.
An agent recently complained to me that their workload had tripled, but staff levels remained the same. This was regarding information received over 14 weeks ago that had not been reviewed yet. The original return had been submitted over 18 weeks ago.
After the amount of fraudulent dollars that were handed out for the First Time Homebuyer Credit and the automatic five year NOL carryback, the IRS is reviewing many more refund claims, especially for big ticket items. If you are expecting a refund and haven’t received it yet, you can check the status of your refund at IRS.gov and use their “Where’s My Refund” tool. This tool will also help you confirm if your e-file was accepted.
As always, our team is here to help if you have any questions.