Sign Up

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Returning Member

IRS Tax Return Status

I mailed my Federal tax return Mar 8, 2021. I certified the mail and according to the tracking, it was received by the IRS Mar 17, 2021. However, given that it has been 2 months (as of today), and I still have not received my return, I was curious if anyone had any ideas on what I should do. So far I have tried the following to check the status:

1.) Went to and put in my info, the status says:

"We cannot provide any information about your refund. Be sure to:

  • verify your filing date;
  • check with your tax preparer

If you filed a complete and accurate tax return, your refund should be issued within six weeks of the received date. However, processing may take longer under certain circumstances."


I would have thought by now it may have said "received" or "in-process" or "under-review" but there is no record at all that they have received it.


2.) I have also called the IRS number ([phone number removed]) to check, which basically the prompts to check it are identical to the website, and the automated system says they have no information on my return status.


3.) Calling the IRS number (same as above) and following different prompts to speak to a person, but every time it comes back and says "Sorry, due to extremely high call volume, we are unable to take your call. Please try again on another business day". Then they hang up on me... I have tried doing this 5 or 6 times (different days of the week) and same result every time.


I'm concerned that the IRS hasn't even received it, despite the certified mail saying they have. I would have thought after 2 months that they'd have something to indicate they got it.


Does anyone have any ideas what I should do? Appreciate any help at this point.

4 Replies
Expert Alumni

IRS Tax Return Status

You’re not alone. Millions of tax payers are still waiting for their taxes to be processed by the IRS.


Per IRS, they have around 12 million tax returns that have been caught in a processing backlog created by the pandemic, which shut down the IRS for a time. Americans should see their refunds in the coming months. "We would hope to be through this backlog by the summer," said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

  • The IRS also has millions of returns that have to be manually verified which is also causing a delay.
  •  Keep checking the IRS Where's My Refund page to see if your refund status has been updated.

Other reasons some returns take longer to process are the following: 

  • Perhaps you had a refund offset.
  • Includes errors
  • Is incomplete
  • Is affected by identity theft or fraud
  • Includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit. See Q&A below.
  • Includes a Form 8379, which could take up to 14 weeks to process
  • Needs further review in general
  • The IRS will contact you by mail when we need more information to process your return.
**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Returning Member

IRS Tax Return Status

Thank you for the information. I guess my question now is that if it's being delayed due to example reasons you posted, would that status be present in the "Check my Refund Status" page? or will it still continue to say they don't have any info?


It's just unfortunate because my 2019 tax return makes me 'not qualifiable' (because i converted an IRA to a ROTH IRA) to get stimulus checks. So my AGI 'looks' like a made a lot of money but I didn't My 2020 income was incredibly low. So somewhat thankfully, I was able to reclaim the 1st and 2nd stimulus check but since the 3rd one was done in 2021, I couldn't reclaim that in my 2020 taxes. So the longer they don't process it, the more likely i'll miss a 4th (if it happens) stimulus check. Anywho, sorry for my semi-soap box rant. Just been a bit frustrating through the last year. Appreciate your response.

Expert Alumni

IRS Tax Return Status

According to this IRS update as of May 14th:   


The IRS is now opening mail within normal timeframes. The IRS has also made significant progress in processing prior year returns. As of May 8, 2021, we had 600,000 individual tax returns received prior to 2021 in the processing pipeline. Including current year returns, as of May 8, 2021, we had 16.9 million unprocessed individual returns in the pipeline. Unprocessed returns include those requiring correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount or validation of 2019 income used to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). This work does not require us to correspond with taxpayers but does require special handling by an IRS employee so, in these instances, it is taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund. If, as a result, a correction is made to any RRC, EITC or ACTC claimed on the return, the IRS will send taxpayers an explanation. Taxpayers are encouraged to continue to check Where’s My Refund? for their personalized refund status and can review Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions.


How long you may have to wait: The IRS understands the importance of timely processing of tax returns and refund issuance. We are processing returns received over the summer and fall in 2020 due to the extended July 15, 2020 tax filing due date. While the majority of 2019 refund returns have been processed, in some cases, we are processing tax returns that were mailed with a payment even though payment associated with these returns have been processed by the IRS. However, we are rerouting tax returns and taxpayer correspondence from locations that are behind to locations where more staff is available, and we are taking other actions to minimize any delays. Tax returns are opened in the order received. As the return is processed, it may be delayed because it has a mistake including errors concerning the Recovery Rebate Credit, is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud. If we can fix it without contacting you, we will. If we need more information or need you to verify that it was you who sent the tax return, we will write you a letter. The resolution of these issues depends on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the processing of your return.


What you should do: If you filed electronically and received an acknowledgement, you do not need to take any further action other than promptly responding to any requests for information. If you filed on paper, check Where’s my refund? If it tells you we have received your return or are processing or reviewing it, we are processing your return, but it may be under review. We’re working hard to get through the backlog. Please don’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Returning Member

IRS Tax Return Status

Unfortunately, the last section "What you should do" does not cover my situation. I filed paper, and there is no  status at all and it's been 2 months. But it is what it is. Thank you for the info.

Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads
Privacy Settings