Getting IRS tax help gets a bit more complicated
Mail thief gets roaches instead of tax refund, filing data

Where's your refund? Still in the works for ACTC, EITC filers

Updated Feb. 14, 2019

Princess Bride impatience via Giphy.comPrincess Bride impatience via Giphy.com

Mid-February is finally here, the time when the Internal Revenue Service can finally issue refunds to taxpayers who had claimed the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) and/or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Does that mean these refunds will show up today? No, that's a refund myth, even if you filed your Form 1040 on Jan. 28, the first day that the IRS began processing 2018 tax year returns.

Neither is your refund likely to be directly deposited into your bank account, loaded onto a debit card or as a paper check stuffed in your snail mail box next week.

In fact, the IRS is warning affected ACTC and EITC filers that they probably won't have their tax cash before Feb. 27. And that's in the best-case scenario; that is, when the refund is directly deposited and there are no other issues with the filing.

Reasons for delays: It's no secret why refunds due taxpayers who claim the two refundable, meaning you get money back even if you don't owe any tax for it to offset, credits are slow.

Congress, concerned that ineligible folks were getting EITC and ACTC cash, mandated the mid-February hold starting last filing season. That gave the IRS extra time to make sure the claims were legit.

Other returns are delayed because of the inevitable errors many filers make.

Then there are the increased number of filters and checks that the IRS puts all returns through to ensure that they are being filed by lawful taxpayers and not identity stealing criminals. It's working.

Since 2015, the number of tax-related identity theft victims has fallen by almost two-thirds, according to an IRS announcement earlier this month.

In 2017, the IRS received 242,000 reports from taxpayers compared to 401,000 in 2016, a 40 percent decline. That marked the second year in a row this number fell, thanks in large part, to the IRS' work with its Security Summit partners in the tax industry and state tax departments.

No firm delivery dates: Still, for taxpayers anxiously awaiting tax refunds, the delays can be frustrating.

The IRS used to issue an annual chart, officially known as IRS Publication 2043, of when you could expect your tax refund. Too many folks, however, started taking those delivery dates as strict promises.

So in 2012, the last year of the printed refund timetable, the IRS decided to focus instead online refund tracking. That year, filers started getting more personalized refund status info via the IRS' Where's My Refund? search tool.

Last refund delivery date chart by IRS

Now millions of taxpayers each year use Where's My Refund? to find out, well, where exactly in the IRS processing system their refund is. Once a return is processed, the tracking tool lets the inquiring taxpayer know an expected delivery date for his or her refund money.

The refund data is updated once a day, usually overnight, so checking it more often won't get you any additional info or spur a quicker arrival of your refund.

You can check out Where's My Refund from your PC or laptop, as well as your digital devices with the IRS2Go app. Or you can use your cell phone to call 1 (800) 829-1954 for refund information.

Recreating refund tables: Some folks have recreated the old refund cycle chart to project when refunds filed on a certain date might be available.

These unofficial tables generally use the IRS' oft-repeated statement that it issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days to project when refunds filed on a certain date might be available.

I get it. I'm a big fan of tables and charts myself. And I know folks like some certainty, particularly when it involves their money.

But I'm going to have to go with the IRS and its decision to no longer provide even quasi-specific refund delivery dates. Taxes, like life, can get complicated and mess up plans.

That's also why I'm reiterating the caution that the IRS makes in its current, revised Publication 2043, now known as Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community. It says there:

IRS caution re making refund delivery date promises_IRS Pub 2043

Caution
Urge taxpayers not to count on getting the refund by a certain date to make major purchases or pay bills. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it's possible their tax return may require additional review and take longer.

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Comments

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Megan

I filed early, same job, same , kid, same everything, I was put under a 45 day “review “! WTF? I need my money and they are now saying if they hold it to long they have to pay us interest on our money! How long?????? WOW

Taxpayer

This taxpayer is tired of stalking the app, where's my refund. Anybody else feel the same?
For weeks, it's says the same thing, there's a delay in processing your return. Tell me something new Uncle Sam because that story is played out.

Mercelis Odom

I filed my taxes every since Jan 28. At first I had a date of getting my money on Feb 22. After about two weeks of checking... the bar disappeared, the date, and I received no letter. So I finally called the irs after a month past and checking the website and still seeing "your refund is still being processed ". They told me I was randomly selected for review on Feb 15 and it could be within 45 days from that date till either I received a letter or my refund. This is crazy !!

Amanda

Same problem. I filed my taxes on February 4th and my fiance's the same day. I claim 2 children on my taxes and one child on his taxes. He received his February 21st. I have yet to receive mine and when I check it it says still processing a date will be provided when available. So I called the IRS and after 30 minutes the lady tells me that there's no errors there's no issues and there's no letter but that it could be 45 days after March 5th. No Rhyme or Reason. We don't have anywhere to live right now and I'm trying to use that money to get us a house. This is so frustrating I've never had this problem in the past

Adrian

I filed threw turbo tax Jan 26th it was accepted Jan 29th by the irs. Feb 1st I started tracking it got the red bar with a date of Feb 19th then Feb 5th my state return goes in my direct deposit account so I check where's my refund again to see if my federal return date has changed and the bar gone and says still processing code 152.. So after February 27th I go back to look and it still says the same thing. I call irs and they put me on hold for over 20 min , she comes back to the phone and tell me nothing appears wrong with my tax return so don't worry. If I don't receive the return in my account by the march 26th then give them a call back. She said she had no other info for me.. I file the same status every year from the saw job for 12yr and filed my same to kids every year ...I'm totally confused as to what's going on so I've counted this tax return as a loss its not worth stressing over...its bad enough it took 6 days just to get the irs on the phone and they day they finally answer my wait time was 1hr 22min.

Tina

I got accepted on January 31st and I had a bar before. Now I don't have a bar but it comes up saying my My refund is being processed and date will be posted when available. I need my tax money because I have to get a new motor for my car and my daughter was a preemie so we have a lot of doctor appointments. It have been 5 weeks now and I have just received my state a few days ago and that was only 3 weeks after it was accepted. I can't even get a hold of anyone.

Eli bond

This is insane i was toldbthe exact same thing as most of tou wtf is going on

Rkeyser70

I received same info. Filed 1/22 accepted 1/23. I have still processing no tax codes, transcripts n/a. Called yesterday and was told to wait 8 weeks from Feb 2nd when it went to still processing. But also
Told that is the amount of time they have to send you a letter, and then could be a wait from there.😡

Brandy

Hi I am in the same situation as you all. I filed on Feb 3 and Irs accepted Feb 3 it's now March 3rd and I get the same message your refund is still processing.. Tax code 152 I called the Irs and was told 4 different answers finally a lady from Irs says my return is under review which will take about 45 days. I have filed the eic for 20 years and have always had my refund in about a week..Its b.s.

Lola Felona

I filed in January and I’m still waiting. I called the ira and they stated some crap about waiting 60 days for further reviewing and if they needed more info within the 60 days they will notify me. What I’ve come to notice is, people who filed early have some sort of delay meanwhile people who filed and gotten accepted after the 15th of February got theirs right away. It seems like they skipped over the early filers! 😡🤬😡

Charlee Ryan

I filed my taxes later than normal this year I filed through turbo tax around the 20th of February. They were approved the 25th! Awesome! Today March 2nd I got my state refund wow! So I thought they it's only been a few days but I wonder how my federal refund it going since I haven't looked since the day they got approved. This is where it begins
I no longer have the Orange progress bar but just a blrb type notice that says
"Your refund is being processed. A refund date will be provided to you when available."
With a 152 code
Which is utterly useless
So I start looking things up and it gets worse
Apparently the safe bar should say my name ssd filing status AND amount, well my amount is gone.
What is going on? I didn't file that long ago so I want to say not to worry YET but what is this 152 code that talks about nonsense and why isn't my refund being processed like normal like every year?!

Jessica

Filed Feb 3 and was accepted Feb 3... it is now March 1st and my refund “is still processing” that’s along with my state taxes. My anxiety is shot up to the ceiling. Everyone I know has already received theirs. It’s ridiculous that they don’t reach out to let you know what’s going on!! Besides really depending on that refund this month, it’s scary sitting around not knowing what’s going on. I’m so upset and frustrated.

Bridgett

I called IRS and they stated that I have to wait an additional 45 days from Feb 14th as well. They started I may or may not receive a letter and if I do just follow the instructions. It takes them no time to take my taxes and forever to receive them. It should be a law against that. This is B.S It's my money and I want it NOW. 😂😂

Frustrated

I called on Feb 27th and was told my return was under a 45 day review and the review started February 15th. Called back today and asked what was going on and was told that they just received an email that stated the 45 days wouldn't start until March 5th. Im not sure what is going on was told i had codes on my account but she couldnt tell me what they were I havent recieved a letter or anything. Has anyone else been told this??

Heather

Yeah I am in the same boat filed my the 2nd. Was accepted and submitted to them by the 5th. Call them up and as of the 15th having a review done. This is total and complete bullshit. Why pick some people with the EIC and not all? Its bs to make some wait and not ALL. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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