In August, ABC News in Camp Hill, PA interviewed Michael Breon, CPA and president of Breon & Associates, about the unprecedented delays the IRS is experiencing in issuing 2020 tax refunds. Normally, the IRS sends refunds within 21 days of the taxpayer’s filing, but nothing is normal in this age of COVID-19. Months after the extended filing deadline passed, millions of people are still waiting for checks. So, if you’re wondering where your refund is, you are not alone.
Asked about the disconcerting situation, Mike had to admit, “I can tell you that since I started in public accounting, in 1996 I believe, I have not heard of such a delay.” The rare calamity has apparently embarrassed the IRS. The agency’s “Where’s My Refund?” webpage leads with a box warning of “COVID-19 Processing Delays,” which admits to the delays and thanks visitors for their patience.
The reasons the IRS is giving for the delays include:
- Errors on the return, such as an incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amount
- Incomplete returns
- An issue with identity theft or fraud
- Inclusion of an Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit claim
- Inclusion of a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which might take up to 14 weeks to process
- A need for further review of the tax return
Mike also points out in the interview that a discrepancy about the amount of COVID relief you were entitled to receive could hold up your return. “Now the 1040 goes into the IRS,” he explains, “and they see in their system that they paid you $1800, and you have [entered] $1200, so now they’re going to have to research that,” said Breon.
Taxpayers with delayed refunds have little recourse, other than trying to trace the processing of their return on the “Where’s my Refund?” webpage at irs.gov. Mike wishes there was more he, as a CPA, could do to help. “Your tax preparer will not get you any further,” he says in the interview. “They only have access to the same thing you do.”
What the IRS doesn’t seem to be admitting to is a problem plaguing many businesses trying to re-open post COVID lockdowns: they don’t have the workers. That may be why calling the IRS won’t help either. Only about 10 percent of phone calls are getting through to representatives. So, as it seems with all things COVID, our only choice is to grin, bear it, wait it out.
Contact Breon & Associates in Harrisburg
But while you’re waiting, it’s worth considering whether you did everything possible to get the largest refund you’re entitled to. Breon & Associates helps individuals and small-to-medium-sized businesses with tax planning and preparation that gets positive results. With offices in Harrisburg and North Central PA, Breon & Associates provides business, accounting and tax services throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 1-888-516-8476 or 717-273-8626, or contact one of our offices online to schedule an online consultation or an online training event.
415 Market Street, Suite #205
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Camp Hill Office:
3461 Market Street, Ste 101
Camp Hill, PA 17011
901 Dawn Avenue, Suite A
Ephrata, PA 17522
4 Park Plaza, Lower Level