Anyone know what's going on at the IRS?
I understand that they shut down for a few months due to coronavirus, so I'm not really too upset that my amended return (and sizable refund) is taking a while.
But about a month ago, the "Where's my Amended Return" site said "Take action: your return has not been processed call this number, and have your amended return available". After an hour on hold, the representative said that the computer just puts that stock message on any file over three months old. Call back in January 2021.
Wouldn't it be nice if "Where's my Amended Return" actually said where your amended return was? Like "Your amended return is currently number 142857 in the queue. Estimated date of processing, January 14, 2021".
Not to rant, or to express impatience; I was just wondering if anyone knows what it's like at the IRS right now. How big is the queue? How many returns are getting through on a daily basis? Are they short-staffed? Is it stressful? Are things better or worse than they're saying publicly? When will things get back to normal? Is there any way to find out where is my amended return?
Mail piled up in trailers for months during the pandemic:
The IRS has not been working on mailed returns until very recently---and an amended return could only be filed by mailing it in until late August 2020 when the IRS began to accept e-filed 2019 amended returns. Under normal circumstances you would be able to see something about your mailed in Form 1040X after about three weeks, but that is not the case right now. The usual 4 months for processing an amended return is going to take longer. 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.
TurboTax will not know anything about your amended return, and nor will TT know that you put your 1040X 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.