Frustration over delayed income tax refunds

Finance

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Millions of Americans are still waiting for their income tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service.

CPA Garrett Wagner discussed the backlog of refund checks Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“It’s just one of those things that are causing CPAs, myself including, so much stress this year,” Wagner said. “Last year we thought it was bad the IRS by the end of 2020 failed to process around eight million tax returns. We thought that was bad. As of June 2021, the IRS has not processed 35 million tax returns, just an astounding number.”

Earlier this year the IRS moved the filing deadline for income tax returns from April 15 to May 15. While that created some delay in processing refunds, Wagner said it’s not the driving factor. “The IRS for years has been short-staffed. When COVID hit, like a lot of organizations, it hit them really hard. We’ve talked about other places that have been hit by this. The IRS was hit super-hard by the shutdown. Then we got those three rounds of recovery and rebate checks, which were great, but they had the IRS diverting their attention from other places. There were various tax law changes that slowed them down, unemployment taxation changes, and more. And then also the IRS sometimes puts out press releases that just say – hey listen – one of the reasons we’re so delayed, we’re just out of toner! So be patient!”

If you’re one of those people still waiting for your income tax refund, Wagner said it will come. “The best message in this position is, first, know you’re not alone. A lot of people in this position feel like I must have done something wrong or my CPA or my tax preparer did something wrong. This is an IRS problem you’re unfortunately caught up with so you’re not alone and you’ve got to be patient. There is no secret recipe to get this fixed. Even when we call the IRS we’re told the same thing – your return should be processed in three weeks. Oh my gosh, it’s been four to five months. We’ll get to it when we get to it. So there’s no happy answer but know you’re not alone and just continue to be patient. You will get your refund at some point.”

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