Apr 21 2014, 9:33am CDT | by Forbes
This time last week, individual taxpayers were rushing to file their last minute tax returns. As of April 11, 2014, the IRS reported receipt of almost 113 million tax returns, upwards of 80% of what is expected for the tax year. That’s on par from the same time period last year.
There’s generally a filing bump during tax week: IRS reported receipt of almost 130 million tax returns by the end of the week marking Tax Day last year with another 18 million taxpayers filing returns by the end of the year.
Of those returns filed before Tax Day 2014, the IRS says it issued more than 85 million refunds. Statistically, that’s about 75% of tax returns filed: that number will dip a bit after taking into consideration those last minute returns where taxpayers were writing checks rather than expecting refunds.
By the numbers, IRS has issued about 78% of all the refunds the agency will issue this year. That means that some taxpayers are still waiting for refunds – and many are not happy about it. Those confounding “570″ delays and “1121″ codes are still stumping a number of taxpayers so I reached out to IRS to inquire about a specific cause for the delays.
To date, the IRS says there is no specific or systemic problem with the issuance of refunds, noting that there has been “a smooth filing season to date.” By the numbers, the IRS reports that “more than nine out of ten taxpayers are receiving their refunds with 21 days or less from when we receive the return.”
Why are some taxpayers still not receiving refunds? The IRS says that the reasons could vary. “We work hard to issue refunds as quickly as possible,” said an IRS spokesperson, “but some tax returns take longer to process than others for many reasons, including when a return includes errors, is incomplete, or needs further review.”
So what can taxpayers do if they are still waiting for refund? There is some consolation: the IRS notes that “[b]y law, if a return has been filed by the deadline, the IRS is required to pay interest on a refund if it is not issued within 45 days of the filing deadline.”
Taxpayers can continue to check the Where’s My Refund site for updates. The site is updated once every 24 hours. You can begin checking the site within 24 hours after IRS has received your e-filed tax return and after four weeks has passed since you’ve mail your paper return (while the IRS web site says four weeks, the IRS spokesperson suggested that six weeks is more appropriate).
It’s also important for taxpayers who have received a notice from the IRS to respond promptly. In some instances, refunds may be delayed due to transposed numbers, errors in account numbers or other issues: those errors can be corrected fairly easily.
For their part, IRS says, about those taxpayers who do not have refunds in pocket:
We appreciate taxpayers’ patience as we continue to process returns. We are working hard to do everything we can to process refunds as quickly as possible, including those situations where additional review is needed.
I’ll continue to post updates as they become available.
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