Here is how lengthy it would take to get your tax refund in 2022

Three in 4 People obtain an annual tax refund from the IRS, which regularly is a household’s largest verify of the 12 months. However with this tax season now in progress, taxpayers might see a repeat of final 12 months’s snarls in processing, when greater than 30 million taxpayers had their returns — and refunds — held up by the IRS. 

Treasury Division officers warned in January that this 12 months’s tax season will probably be a problem with the IRS beginning to course of returns on January 24. That is largely as a result of IRS’ sizable backlog of returns from 2021. As of December 31, the company had 6 million unprocessed particular person returns — a big discount from a backlog of 30 million in Might, however far greater than the 1 million unprocessed returns that’s extra typical across the begin of tax season. 

That will make taxpayers nervous about delays in 2022, however most People ought to get their refunds inside 21 days of submitting, in response to the IRS. And a few taxpayers are already reporting receiving their refunds, in response to posts on social media. 

Nonetheless, thus far, the everyday refund is about $2,300 — lower than the typical refund verify of about $2,800 obtained final 12 months. That might change because the tax season progresses, provided that tens of tens of millions of People have but to file. However it might sign that taxpayers might get smaller checks this 12 months, a problem for households already fighting excessive inflation. 

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig earlier this month wrote in a Yahoo Finance article that “tens of millions are ready for his or her returns to be processed.” He additionally famous that the company has the identical degree of staffing as within the Nineteen Seventies regardless of the U.S. inhabitants having grown by 60% since then.

However there are some caveats in regards to the 21-day window to get a refund. Claiming the Earned Revenue Tax Credit score or the Baby Tax Credit score will decelerate your tax return as a result of rules designed to discourage fraud, however which means individuals who declare these credit and filed their returns on January 24 or near that date could not obtain their refund till early March, the IRS mentioned. 

And different points can decelerate your refund, comparable to errors like math issues or incorrectly stating how a lot you obtained from the superior Baby Tax Credit score funds. In these circumstances, your tax return might get flagged, resulting in delays of weeks and even months.

People are frightened about their tax returns this 12 months, in response to a brand new survey from Bankrate. About 1 in 4 is anxious their refund will probably be late, whereas virtually 1 in 3 are frightened their refund will probably be smaller than regular. 

Checking standing of your refund

Taxpayers can verify the standing of their refund on the IRS website “The place’s My Refund?”

Individuals might want to know their Social Safety quantity or their Particular person Taxpayer Identification Quantity, their submitting standing (comparable to married submitting collectively) and their precise refund quantity.

The IRS says individuals can begin checking the standing of their refund inside 24 hours after an electronically filed return is obtained by the company, or 4 weeks after a taxpayer mails a paper return.

The device will present details about three phases of processing: Alerting the taxpayer when their return is obtained, when their refund is accredited and when the refund is shipped. 

Errors and delays

The IRS on February 14 mentioned tax returns with errors involving the third stimulus verify, that are lacking data or which have suspected fraud or theft might take as much as 90 to 120 days to resolve. 

Some taxpayers may additionally inadvertently declare the incorrect quantity on their tax returns this 12 months — and thru no fault of their very own. The IRS additionally mentioned on February 14 that a few of its Baby Tax Credit score letters — letter 6419 — included incorrect data in regards to the quantity some taxpayers obtained. The IRS is asking taxpayers to consult with the letter when filling out their tax return. 

But when that occurs, that taxpayer’s return could not match what the IRS has on file, resulting in the return getting flagged — and delays in getting their return processed and their refund despatched to them, mentioned Larry Grey, a CPA and authorities relations liaison for the Nationwide Affiliation of Tax Professionals. 

“Individuals could not notice the letter may very well be incorrect, and what’s the IRS doing to ship out a follow-up communication to cease creating a much bigger backlog within the coming season?” he mentioned on a convention name to debate tax professionals’ issues in regards to the present tax season.

Getting refunds inside 21 days of submitting

If all goes nicely, although, taxpayers who e-file can obtain their refunds by way of direct deposit as shortly as one week after submitting primarily based on earlier years’ processing time, in accordance to commerce publication CPA Advisor. 

It is essential to notice that processing time sometimes slows down because the tax season will get underway and the IRS handles extra returns, the publication added.

Within the meantime, tax consultants say there are some steps that taxpayers can take to assist guarantee a fast tax refund, which is much more essential this 12 months provided that the IRS is beginning with a backlog. Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins issued a report back to Congress in January that warned she is “deeply involved in regards to the upcoming submitting season” given the backlog, amongst different points.

“The very first thing you realize if you’ll prepare dinner a meal, you must have the kitchen cleaned up from the final meal,” mentioned Mark W. Everson, vice chairman at Alliantgroup and former Commissioner of the IRS. “It simply snowballs right into a horrible state of affairs.”

Delays in processing tax returns rely as one of many company’s most urgent issues, Collins mentioned in her report, which described an company in disaster.

People are listening to the message: Potential IRS processing delays ranked second among the many three prime issues of people who find themselves anticipating a refund from the IRS this 12 months, in response to a ballot of just about 2,500 individuals launched February 22. (Worries of a smaller-sized refund than anticipated and the diminished buying energy of a refund as a result of inflation have been the Nos. 1 and three issues.)

Consultants say tax returns may very well be delayed

Though the IRS says most refunds will probably be despatched inside 21 days, consultants warn that delays are possible, noting that the company remains to be working by 2020 tax returns.

Through the 2020 funds 12 months, the IRS processed greater than 240 million tax returns and issued roughly $736 billion in refunds, together with $268 billion in federal stimulus funds, in response to the most recent IRS information. Over that interval roughly 60 million individuals known as or visited an IRS workplace.

Donald Williamson, an accounting and taxation professor at American College in Washington, mentioned he expects “weeks and weeks” of IRS delays in 2022. “My recommendation in 2022 is file early, get began tomorrow and attempt to put your taxes along with a certified skilled.”

IRS backlog might delay your tax return


Compounding the problem, tax preparers advised CBS MoneyWatch that it stays laborious to achieve IRS personnel on the cellphone. The IRS answered solely about 1 in 9 taxpayer calls throughout fiscal 12 months 2021, Collins reported. “Many taxpayers usually are not getting solutions to their questions and are pissed off,” she famous.

“Again within the previous days, you’d wait 5-10 minutes and get an IRS agent on the cellphone,” mentioned Christian Cyr, a CPA and president and chief funding officer at Cyr Monetary. However now, he mentioned, his CPAs wait hours to talk with an IRS worker, with no assure of ever reaching one. 

Making certain easy tax submitting comes with quite a bit on the road, provided that the typical refund final 12 months was about $2,800. Under are ideas from tax consultants and the IRS on methods to get a tax refund inside 21 days of submitting.

1. File electronically

It is a step the IRS is strongly urging this 12 months. Though some individuals could merely like submitting paper returns — and others could don’t have any selection — the company says that taxpayers who file electronically usually tend to have their returns processed shortly. 

That is as a result of the IRS depends on computer systems to electronically course of filed returns, whereas paper returns have to be dealt with by human staff. Within the early days of the pandemic, the IRS shut its workplaces and staff stopped opening mail — delaying processing of paper returns.

Even apart from worker strains as a result of pandemic, the IRS’ staffing hasn’t stored up with inhabitants development. The company’s workforce is now the identical dimension it was in 1970, regardless of the inhabitants rising by 60%. Meaning fewer staff to deal with a higher quantity of returns.

About 10 million individuals filed paper returns final 12 months, or about 7% of the 148 million returns filed in 2021, in response to information from the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Tax consultants urge individuals to affix the roughly 138 million taxpayers who’re already utilizing e-filing.

“Paper is the IRS’s Kryptonite, and the company remains to be buried in it,” Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate Collins mentioned  on Wednesday. 

2. Get a refund by way of direct deposit

The IRS additionally recommends that taxpayers prepare to get their refunds by direct deposit. The company says the quickest solution to get your cash is to make use of the mixture of e-filing with direct deposit, which sends the cash into your checking account. 

About 95 million individuals obtained refunds final 12 months, with about 87 million of them choosing direct deposit. Most taxpayers who file electronically and select direct deposit will get their refund inside 21 days, assuming there are not any issues with the return, in response to the IRS.

3. Do not guesstimate

The IRS checks its information in opposition to the figures taxpayers element on their returns. If there is a discrepancy — say your W2 exhibits that you just earned $60,000, however you write on the return that you just earned $58,000 — the return is flagged for guide evaluate by an worker. 

As soon as that occurs, it is possible your tax return will face a delay of weeks and even months. That is why tax consultants advise individuals to verify types fastidiously to make sure they’re reporting information precisely. Filling out your tax return should not depend on “phrase of mouth or the distinction system,” Cyr mentioned. “I assure that can trigger delays.”

4. Save IRS letters about stimulus, CTC

Alongside these traces, the IRS is sending letters this month to taxpayers who obtained the third federal stimulus verify in 2021, in addition to the superior Baby Tax Credit score funds

These letters will inform every taxpayer what they obtained by these applications in 2021 — they’re essential paperwork to carry onto since you’ll need to consult with these quantities when filling out your tax return. 

A significant cause tax returns have been delayed in 2021 was as a result of taxpayers made errors in reporting their 2020 stimulus fee quantities on their returns, ensuing of their tax filings getting flagged for guide evaluate.

“Have no issues which are induced from your individual negligence,” Everson suggested.

Nonetheless, as a result of incorrect CTC letters that have been despatched to some taxpayers, the IRS is advising taxpayers to double-check how a lot they obtained by logging into their accounts at 

The IRS will ship two letters: 

  • Letter 6419 — informing taxpayers of their advance CTC funds. The company started sending these letters in December and can proceed to take action in January.
  • Letter 6475 — in regards to the third stimulus verify. That letter will probably be despatched in late January.

Hold each of those letters and consult with them if you full your tax return, tax consultants mentioned. 

You might face a delay should you declare these tax credit

There are a few points that might trigger delays, even should you do all the pieces appropriately. 

The IRS notes that it will probably’t problem a refund that includes the Earned Revenue Tax Credit score (EITC) or the Baby Tax Credit score earlier than mid-February. “The legislation offers this extra time to assist the IRS cease fraudulent refunds from being issued,” the company mentioned this week.

Meaning should you file as quickly as doable on January 24, you continue to may not obtain a refund throughout the 21-day timeframe in case your tax return includes both of these tax credit. Actually, the IRS is informing those that declare these credit that they are going to most definitely obtain their refunds in early March, assuming they filed their returns on January 24 or near that date. 

The rationale pertains to a 2015 legislation that slows refunds for individuals who declare these credit, which was designed as a measure to fight fraudsters who depend on identification theft to seize taxpayer’s refunds. 

—With reporting by the Related Press.

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