Why Your Tax Refund May Be Delayed

I’ve heard from several taxpayers who filed their returns earlier on in the tax season who have still not received their refund.  For some it’s been 7 weeks or more! Several weeks ago, the IRS issued a News Release addressing some problems with processing returns where the First-Time HomeBuyer (FTHB) Credit was a factor. There are three types of returns that have been impacted:
  1. Taxpayers filing Married Filing Jointly who received the FTHB credit on a 2008 home purchase.  If you’ll recall, this credit was to be paid back over a period of ten years, with 2010 being the first year the payback occurred.
  2. Taxpayers who received the FTHB credit on a prior year’s return and have sold or otherwise disposed of the home.
  3. Taxpayers who received the FTHB credit in 2008 and are attempting to pay back more than the prescribed amount (typically $500).
For these returns, made up primarily of the group listed from #1 above, is being processed manually, and the IRS anticipated having these returns complete by early April, and the remainder of the groups shortly after. The latest word I have heard on this is an estimated date of April 22 – so you should have received it by now.  If not, you can check the Where’s My Refund section on the IRS website.  You’ll need the amount of your refund from your return in order to check the status.  (You’ll also need your social security number and filing status, but I figured you wouldn’t need to look those up.)   IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).

About the author

Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA

Jim Blankenship is the founder and principal of Blankenship Financial Planning, Ltd., a financial planning firm providing hourly, as-needed financial planning and advice. A financial services professional for over 25 years, Jim is a CFP professional and has earned the Enrolled Agent designation, a designation that qualifies him as enrolled to practice before the IRS. Jim is also a NAPFA-registered financial advisor, which designates him as a Fee-Only Financial Advisor.

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2 Comments

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  • Amy –

    If you made a copy or can get a copy of your return, you can use that to re-file. I would suggest calling the IRS number again to get on record your claim that you sent the original. The end result will be that you need to send in a new copy since the original is missing.

    I’m assuming that you are expecting a refund, so there should be no penalties for late payment, although there could be a late filing penalty.

    It is for this reason that it makes good sense to send your paper return via registered mail so that you have a receipt of when it was sent, and can get confirmation of when it’s received.

    Hope things work out for you –

    jb

  • Just a question.i called the irs to see about my 2010 tax return that i sent in april 15th,they have no record of it.The woman was not very nice or helpful,very short with me.She told me to send another one in or file electronically.how can i go about that?i really want to know what happened to my return and she didn’t have the time for me.I don’t want to pay to file,i allready filed.can you give me some advice please?

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