There are a lot of delays for federal refunds. Did you mail your return or e-file?
If you mailed it:
The IRS has just started to work through millions of mailed returns that have been piling up in trailers during the pandemic. All you can do is watch the IRS refund site to see when your return makes it to the surface and goes into processing. Sorry.
Per the IRS website IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue:
IRS operational status and alternatives
Processing Delays for Paper Tax Returns: Taxpayers should file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider, or IRS Free File.
We’re experiencing delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. If you already filed a paper return, we will process it in the order we received it.
Do not file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.
If you mail a tax return (or a payment) to the IRS, it is a good idea to use a mailing service that will track it like UPS or certified mail so you will know it was received.
When you mail a tax return, you need to attach any documents showing tax withheld, such as your W-2’s or any 1099’s.
TurboTax will not know anything about your mailed return, and will continue to show “Ready to Mail” on your account. TurboTax will not know that you put your tax return in an envelope and took it to a mailbox. TurboTax does not get updates on mailed (or e-filed) returns.
When the IRS finally opens its mail and begins to process mailed returns you can check the status on the IRS site. https://www.irs.gov/refunds
State returns have to be mailed to the state.
Did you e-file? Did you click a big orange button that said “Transmit my returns now?”
When you e-file your federal return you will receive two emails from TurboTax. The first one will say that your return was submitted. The second email will tell you if your federal return was accepted or rejected. If you e-filed a state return, there will be a third email to tell you if the state accepted or rejected your state return.
First, check your e-file status to see if your return was accepted:
If the IRS accepted it, what does it say here?
Or does your account say “Ready to Mail?”
Note: If it says “Ready to Mail” or “Printed” that means YOU have to mail it yourself. TurboTax does not mail your tax return for you.
If your e-file was accepted:
To check on regular tax refund status via automated phone, call 800-829-1954. (This line has no information on Economic Impact Payments.)
TurboTax gives you an estimated date for receiving your refund based on a 21 day average from your date of acceptance, but it can take longer. Many refunds are taking longer during the pandemic.
Once your federal return has been accepted by the IRS, only the IRS has any control. TurboTax does not receive any updates from the IRS. Your ONLY source of information about your refund now is the IRS.
You need your filing status, your Social Security number and the exact amount (line 20 of your Form 1040) of your federal refund to track your Federal refund:
To track your state refund:
If you chose to have your TurboTax fees deducted from your federal refund, that will take some extra time, while the third party bank handles the refund processing.
The IRS can look at your 2018 or 2019 return to issue a stimulus check. If they do not have a 2018 return then you may be waiting for them to finish processing 2019 before they will be able to use it to issue your stimulus check.
TurboTax has no control over your stimulus check, nor can TT track it for you or tell you when the IRS will issue it. Refer to the sites linked below:
You can call the IRS hotline at 1-800-919-9835 to get updates on your stimulus payment.
The stimulus check is an advance on a credit you can receive on your 2020 tax return. If something went wrong or you did not get the stimulus check this year, you can get it when you file your 2020 return in early 2021—if you are eligible.
To call the IRS:IRS: 800-829-1040 hours 7 AM - 7 PM local time Mon-Fri
Listen to each menu before making the selection.
First choose your language. Press 1 for English.
Then do NOT choose the first choice re: "Refund", or it will send you to an automated phone line.
Instead, press 2 for "personal income tax".
Then press 1 for "form, tax history, or payment".
Then press 3 "for all other questions."
Then press 2 "for all other questions." It should then transfer you to an agent.
At the following IRS website, find the USA map and click on your state, and it will give you the number of your area's IRS Taxpayer Advocate.
Also see this article for more info on how the Taxpayer Advocate Service works::