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THE OPINION MONEY 2021 tax refund: what you can do if you think it’s late

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The IRS has detailed reasons why a 2021 tax refund may be delayed, but don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to keep track of it.

One of the most anticipated moments of this season is the tax refund and, although some have already begun to arrive, thousands of taxpayers wonder: when will it be in their pockets?

Suppose you think there is a delay in your tax refund. In that case, the first thing you should know is that you have to be patient since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office confirmed that it has a long delay in reviewing the declarations and in the definition of refunds.

Although it seems that the options are few beyond waiting, being clear about some dates and the actions to take in case the return has not yet been filed, are important to plan while waiting for the 2021 tax refund.

What should I know about the 2021 tax refund?

The first question that we must resolve has to do with the waiting process, especially when a few days have passed since the tax return was sent.

The IRS digital tool known as “Where’s My Refund?” can guide us on the status of our return, of course, if it is favorable as taxpayers; however, it can also create some doubts.

The most frequent has to do with the message “Your return is still in process.” If this notice appears in your consultation, in principle, you can rest easy, and you just have to be patient to receive your 2021 tax refund.

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The certified accountant of the firm Samuels & Associates, Howard Samuels, explained to the CNBC network that the IRS received his declaration and that there were no problems in receiving it.

The expert elaborated that this 2022 all the IRS processes have had delays due to the Covid-19, the lack of personnel, and the changes in the laws from the pandemic.

In this sense, taxpayers who received stimulus checks or advances for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) should expect that their tax refunds will have some delay.

The IRS has explained that the tax returns that will take the longest to process, and consequently the longest to resolve and return, are:

  • Those with errors
  • are incomplete
  • We need a general overhaul
  • Are from taxpayers affected by identity theft or fraud
  • Those that include a claim for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit
  • Include a Form 8379 or an Injured Spouse Assignment PDF

Some returns that are in these cases are those that are more than 21 days old since they were sent to the IRS.


The dates you should keep in mind

The estimated time for the tax refund, in the cases of electronic returns and without errors, is 21 days from the filing of the return, however, the time may vary due to:

Returns with EITC and CTC stimulus income should expect refund delays.

Allow one to three weeks for electronic returns with direct deposit requests.

Up to three weeks for those who filed a paper return with direct deposit.

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Six to eight weeks for taxpayers who filed a paper or electronic return but requested a refund check by mail.

This time can be increased up to 45 days if the declaration requires additional review.

Keep in mind that the deadline to file your 2021 tax return is April 18, and the deadline for the government to make your refund is June 2.

After this date, the refunds that have not arrived will do so with an extra, corresponding to the interest that the government will pay for the delay.