Here’s why your federal tax refund may be delayed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many people who filed their federal income taxes months ago are wondering when they’re going to receive their refund.

According to the financial group LendingTree, the average refund is more than $3,600, so many families are counting on their refund.

Representatives with the Internal Revenue Service said most refunds are issued within 21 days, but also acknowledged many are taking longer this year.

Sawaya McGrant told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke she filed her taxes electronically almost six weeks ago. She said she got her state refund, but she’s still waiting for her federal refund – she’s expecting $5,109.

“I check online every day. I have the app, and still nothing,” she said. “It’s so frustrating. It kind of consumes you, unfortunately.”

On the webpage for the consumer arm of the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an article was posted stating that this filing season “has been challenging at best.”

Some reasons mentioned on the website that Stoogenke found included:

  • The IRS is having to manually review more than 29 million returns and “employees are stretched thin” working through those.
  • The IRS is still operating with limited services because of the pandemic. A recent Treasury Department report stated the IRS closed all 358 taxpayer assistance centers last year and that 95 were still closed in November.
  • The agency has to confirm claims filed for the additional child tax credit from the latest stimulus package.

Other reasons that might cause a delay include:

  • There were mistakes on your tax return or it was incomplete.
  • Identity theft or fraud.
  • Mail delays.