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How long does it take to file? My account says pending with federal & then says started w/state!?? Did I do my form correct 

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The IRS is not accepting returns until Jan. 27



Your state cannot be e-filed or accepted until the IRS accepts your federal return.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**


Interesting article explains the "testing" process the IRS does behind the scenes prior to the official opening date ... which is basically what I have been telling everyone for years ... 






Although TurboTax will  allow you to e-filed some returns as early as 1/2   they are NOT sent to the IRS.  TurboTax stores those early filed returns  until the IRS opens for business and pulls the returns for processing (Currently the start date is 1/27/20 but subject to change) ...   only then will you get an e-mail telling you if the return was accepted or rejected by the IRS.  

Only the simplest returns can be transmitted to TurboTax early.    Some forms will not be finalized until Jan 25 and some later than that.


Why does TurboTax allow early filing?  Because their competitors do - It is a marketing ploy to capture market share.

Filing early with TurboTax before the IRS opens  is a really BAD IDEA for many reasons...

1) If you discover something that is wrong on your return, receive a W-2 that is different, receive some other tax document that was not on the return that you filed then there is NOTHING that you can do about it other than wait to see if the IRS accepts or rejects the return after they open.  If rejected you can correct and file again, but if accepted then the only remedy is to amend which can take 4 months to process.

2) You must remember to check back after the IRS opens (or check for an e-mail) to confirm that the IRS has accepted or rejected the return.  If rejected, then it was never filed at all and must be corrected and re-filed.  Every year many taxpayers that file early, forget to check back and only discover months later that they never actually filed because if was rejected by the IRS but they had forgotten about checking back after filing with TurboTax.

3) While the IRS does conduct some pre-opening tests and does accept some returns early (ONLY for TESTING purposes), they will not actually  process those until after the official opening date.  There is a reason to test and that is to discover any problems with it's systems.  A couple of years ago a test went bad and several thousand "test" returns were lost.   The IRS was able to recover those but it delayed refunds for some by months.

There is no real advantage to file before the IRS opens  but there are several disadvantages to do so.






My return got accepted. What happens next?


Congratulations! Accepted means your e-file has passed inspection (such as Social Security numbers are correct and dependents haven't already been claimed) and the government has your tax return. Consider acceptance as your official government packing slip.


Are you getting a refund?

After acceptance, the next step is for the government to review your refund.

During the review process, they look for math errors on your return (extremely rare in TurboTax) and check if you owe back taxes, unpaid child support, or other debts.

If they need to make any corrections, they may offset (reduce) your refund. In some cases, the correction might even increase your refund.


Once that part's done, the government approves your refund, which means it's ready to be deposited or sent.

It can take up to 21 calendar days after acceptance for the IRS to issue your refund, although most refunds go more quickly than that, while a small handful may take a bit longer.


Start tracking your federal refund at the IRS Where's My Refund site.

For state refunds, go to your state government's refund lookup service.


Do you owe taxes?

As you may have guessed, the government processes tax payments more quickly than refunds.

Direct debits are usually withdrawn on the payment date you specified in TurboTax. If that date falls on a weekend or official holiday, the funds are usually taken out the next business day.


If you're one of the millions who filed around the busy April 15, 2020 (April 17, 2020 if you live in Maine (ME) or Massachusetts (MA) due to Emancipation Day) deadline, the government might not debit your payment until after the deadline due to high volumes. On top of that, it can take your bank a few more days to post the debit to your account.


As long as you e-filed by April 15, 2020 (April 17, 2020 for those who live in ME or MA) 11:59 p.m. local time and selected April 15, 2020 (April 17, 2020 for those who live in ME or MA) (or earlier) as your payment date, you won't get penalized for late payment (rejected returns have until April 20, 2020 (April 22, 2020 for those who live in ME or MA) to re-file or mail the return).


Credit card and check payments are treated similarly; as long as the payment was submitted or postmarked by the filing deadline, there's no late payment penalty even if the transaction posts or the check is cashed after the deadline.


If you still don't see a credit or debit transaction 7–10 days after your return has been accepted, call IRS e-file Payment Services at 1-888-353-4537 or contact your state tax agency, as appropriate.


Related Information:


21 days of my filing with u passed on 3-15-21, I got email from IRS saying my return was accepted on 3-8-21. Was asked to fill in few questions, 1 of which I was unsure. It was if I’m single or head of household. Hope I didn’t answer wrong as I’m both. Went to get my refund tool, was told no status as they need more info. They have All info, including. My direct deposit info. Why haven’t I gotten my refund ? You emailed me & said u reviewed my return & found “something”, then a Green check mark showed up, yet it still has Red check on next page. What does this mean? Is there anything I should do? I kept getting same no status, need more info last yr & Never wound up getting any stimulus, which why I had to file this yr, even though I’m a non-filer! Please Help!


That’s why I had to fill out questions, because I hadn’t filed State, which I was told by your agent who so generously walked me thru the process by phone, that I didn’t need to file State, only Fed because the only reason I was filing (as I’m a non-filer) was to get the stimulus payments I did not receive last year! Please, HELP! I don’t even have $ to pay my utilities.

Expert Alumni


Did you get an email from the IRS or TurboTax? 


If you received correspondence from the IRS, then you will not get your refund in 21 days. The IRS had some questions about your tax return and has moved it to special processing. There is no timeline on when these types of refunds will be issued.


If you received an email from TurboTax about state then it has nothing to do with your federal return. 


Either way, if it has been more than 21 days, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. They can research your refund. The phone lines open at 7 a.m. in every time zone. Call as early as possible to avoid the wait.

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