I mailed in my federal tax return in April and it has been over 11 weeks now but I still haven't received my refund. Could it possibly take longer because I filed jointly and needed to wait for my wife's ITIN to be processed? I'm getting a little nervous so it would really help to hear from others who also paper-filed.
The severely backlogged IRS is taking a LONG time to process mailed returns---sometimes several months or more.
Per the IRS:
COVID-19 Mail Processing Delays
It’s taking us longer to process mailed documents including:
- Paper tax returns, and
- All tax return related correspondence.
We are processing all mail in the order we received it.
Do not file a second tax return or call the IRS.
It can take 3-4 weeks (or a LOT longer since the IRS is severely 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 MUCH MUCH 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.
If you are wondering if you should send your return again——the IRS does not want you to file a second time. Putting two tax returns into the system at the same time can lead to confusion and even more delays. If you did not use tracking and do not know if the return was received—-you have to make your own judgement call and decide if you want to risk further delay by sending the return again.
For an ordinary refund from your tax return, if you requested direct deposit, you just get the refund in your account. There is no notification.
You can use "Where's My Refund?" on the IRS web site to see if the refund has been deposited, but "Where's My Refund?" has apparently not been entirely reliable this year.