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A Word From The IRS: How To Deal With State Refund Delays

How To Deal With State Refund Delays


By: Oana Schneider

A Word From The IRS: How To Deal With State Refund Delays

Your BBB® has learned that there are several state refund delays this year and the IRS has a few explanations for that.

1. My tax refund timeline says I should’ve had my money a while ago. Why is it taking so long?

Everyone’s tax situation is different and that’s why some returns take longer. It may take a little longer because the state needs to take a closer look at your return to make sure everything is accurate. If they need more information, you will get a letter in the mail. However, a delay in the timeline doesn’t necessarily mean something bad, just a lengthy process.

2. I wasn’t given a timeline. How long do I have to wait?

Some states just don’t anticipate the amount of time it would take to process your return. Like we mentioned before, every case is different. Some people will receive their returns within a couple of weeks, while others have to wait more than 8 weeks. Waiting longer than you would expect is not a sign that something bad happened. However, many states have a process to determine fraud and accuracy. If your documents trigger an alarm, someone will take a closer look at them, which means the whole process will take a little longer.

3. I already got my federal refund. Why is my state refund taking so long?

If you’ve received your federal refund weeks ago, but your state refund is nowhere to be found, that’s not necessarily a red flag. Even if you file everything at the same time, remember that these are two different government agencies with different systems and policies, which can sometimes mean that one of them will take longer to process than the other one.

4. My refund status says it’s “approved”, but still no sign of my tax refund. Why is that?

A refund tracker can show you that your refund is “Processing”, “Approved” or “Issued” – these are the most common ones. But even if your status says “Approved”, it’s still going to take a while for the refund to be sent your way. You can expect a refund when the status changes to “Issued” or “Sent”. It usually takes a few business days to receive your refund once the new status has been updated.

What can you do?

There are two things you can do: Track your tax refund status by using your state’s website and check your email on a regular basis. Keep an eye on the “Where’s my refund?” section. Even if the status hasn’t changed in a while, sometimes the agency handling your case will post messages regarding delays.

If you think there’s something wrong with your tax return, call the return hotline to find out more information. You can find all the phone numbers you need on your state’s website.

If you have any questions, leave a comment!

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Oana Schneider is our Director of Media Services. She writes consumer and business oriented articles and is in charge of our community outreach program.