Still haven’t received your tax refund for tax year 2020? There were nearly 12 million returns in processing, according to the latest Internal Revenue Service filing season statistics, as of June 11—20 business days after the May 17, 2021 filing deadline and. That’s double the amount of returns in processing eight business days after the July 15, 2020 filing deadline. It’s an imprecise comparison because given the pandemic, last year and this year have not been normal tax seasons: There were moving deadlines, and new tax laws, including stimulus payments, for example.
And Congress has taxed the IRS with administering monthly advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit to 36 million eligible families. If you’re eligible and you’ve filed a 2020 tax return, you’ll automatically get these payments. Still haven’t filed? The IRS is hosting free tax prep days in 12 cities at IRS taxpayer assistance centers and community centers, including the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Barrio Action Youth & Family Center in Los Angeles to help eligible families prepare and file 2020 tax returns.
If you’re in still line for your 2020 tax refund, the good news is that most 2020 tax year returns are being processed within the normal 21-day time frame, and 90% of taxpayers (up from 83% at this time last year) are getting direct deposit refunds—the quickest and safest way to get a refund. As of June 11, the IRS had processed 141 million of the 152.5 million returns received this tax season. That included 104.3 million refunds, with the average refund coming in at $2,775.
A subset of returns are taking longer to process. One reason: For taxpayers who used their 2019 income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit and/the Advance Child Tax Credit, an IRS employee has to validate the return. The second reason is that many returns are requiring a correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount claimed on the return. Neither of these two cases requires the IRS to correspond with taxpayers, but the “special handling” means that it’s taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund. If a correction is made on the return, the IRS will send an explanation letter. “Our folks are working hard—even overtime—to process these returns as quickly as possible, but issues like these do take time,” says an IRS spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the IRS is still sending out Round 3 stimulus payments and plus-up stimulus payments. In the two weeks through June 9, the IRS paid out another 2.3 million of these American Rescue Act payments, including more than 900,000 payments that went to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously didn’t have information but who recently filed a tax return. This includes 1.1 million plus-up payments for taxpayers who got payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their 2020 tax return. Another reason to file!
It’s easy to check on these status of your tax refund. Go to the IRS Where’s My Refund? page. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, tax filing status (single, married, etc.) and refund amount.
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