I filed my 2020 taxes in March 2021 via mail and am still awaiting a refund - there is no information available from the IRS when using the refund status app. so do I assume it was lost in the mail and never got there or are they that far behind in processing mail in returns?
They are so far behind that there are about 1.8 million 2019 returns still not processed.
The IRS is running behind due to COVID, CARES Act, stimulus and a huge amount of mailed tax returns being filed this year.
See this IRS newsroom release: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue
TurboTax only gives the general IRS (most returns are processed within 21 days) date. The actual date is known only by the IRS. TurboTax also does not adjust the general date for anything on the tax return. TurboTax receives no feedback from the IRS after filing.
The IRS says most refunds will be issued within 21 days - some faster, some longer.
(Most means more than half so many take longer - MUCH longer)
Each tax return is evaluated on it's own merits. There is no first-in-first-out. Two similar tax return submitted at the same time can have totally different processing times based on IRS criteria for examining tax returns that the IRS does not divulge.
Some returns will be held for ID verification or other verification. The IRS will send a letter if they require more information to process your tax return.
Check your refund stratus here:
Check your state refund here:
Do not assume it was lost. It is taking much longer than usual for the IRS to process mailed returns.
It can take 3-4 weeks (or longer since the IRS is backlogged) for anything to show up on the IRS site when you mail a tax return. Expect AT LEAST 6-8 weeks for complete processing of a mailed return--and probably longer.
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 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.
It has been 8 weeks already and no indication on the IRS refund status site that it even exists (no record of any return) - hence the thought it never got there. I will wait another week or so.