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c-reber
Level 1

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

For whatever reason, my spouse and I are not able to e-file our joint federal tax return. We've been mailing in our forms for the past 10 years straight. It's worked out so far, but takes a lot longer to receive the refund. This year, nothing new, except we haven't received our refund yet (and we filed back in May). We haven't thought too much about it, thinking perhaps it was COVID related. However today, I created an account on the IRS website to request a transcript. It says "No tax return filed" for our 2020 (filed in 2021)! We successfully received our state tax return, which was mailed out the same day. I've got to believe that our federal form never made it to its destination. What do I do?
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
DoninGA
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

The IRS is taking 6 months or longer to processed mailed tax returns.  That would be the reason why you do not have a 2020 tax transcript.  Do not file another federal tax return at this time.  Wait for a couple of more months and if you still do not see a transcript then mail another return and use a tracking service from the US Post Office so that you will know it was received by the IRS.

 

The IRS is seriously behind in processing 2020 tax returns.  This is due to many factors, such as the pandemic, completing processing of millions of 2019 tax returns, stimulus payments, unemployment compensation exclusion tax refunds., changes in the tax code by Congress in the middle of the 2020 tax season and the like.

 

Millions of taxpayers have not yet received there federal tax refunds.

 

Go to this IRS website for operational status - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue

 

The IRS is opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review.  As of September 4, 2021, we had 8.5 million unprocessed individual returns.  Unprocessed individual returns include tax year 2020 returns such as 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 and in some cases this work could take 90 to 120 days. 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.

 

What you should do: In most instances, no further action is needed but you may check Where’s my refund or you can view your account. 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.

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10 Replies
DoninGA
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

The IRS is taking 6 months or longer to processed mailed tax returns.  That would be the reason why you do not have a 2020 tax transcript.  Do not file another federal tax return at this time.  Wait for a couple of more months and if you still do not see a transcript then mail another return and use a tracking service from the US Post Office so that you will know it was received by the IRS.

 

The IRS is seriously behind in processing 2020 tax returns.  This is due to many factors, such as the pandemic, completing processing of millions of 2019 tax returns, stimulus payments, unemployment compensation exclusion tax refunds., changes in the tax code by Congress in the middle of the 2020 tax season and the like.

 

Millions of taxpayers have not yet received there federal tax refunds.

 

Go to this IRS website for operational status - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue

 

The IRS is opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review.  As of September 4, 2021, we had 8.5 million unprocessed individual returns.  Unprocessed individual returns include tax year 2020 returns such as 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 and in some cases this work could take 90 to 120 days. 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.

 

What you should do: In most instances, no further action is needed but you may check Where’s my refund or you can view your account. 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.

VolvoGirl
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

It's probably there.  The IRS is just a lot slower this year with all the extra people filing to get the Stimulus payments.   It hasn't worked its way through the system to show up yet.  It's not showing up on IRS Where's my refund either?  I would keep waiting.   People who filed in February (even by efile) are posting here and still waiting.   

But the only way to know if they got it is if you got a tracking number from the post office when you mailed it.   Or call the IRS.   Why can't you efile?  Have you asked for help to efile?   We can probably help you efile next time.

c-reber
Level 1

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

All of this is very helpful insight! Thanks!

To answer a few questions out there. I have tried Where's my refund? which usually works for me, however it delivers an error message any time I've tried it this year. Also, I'm not exactly sure why my spouse and I can't e-file — when I was single, I used to e-file just fine! Using TurboTax we've tried e-filing jointly many times, but always get an error either immediately or within a few days. The message usually tells us to correct my spouse's birth date (really? really!), but we have no idea how to correct this. We have a copy of the birth certificate and have celebrated the same day every year. We're not sure how to fix this.

DoninGA
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?


@c-reber wrote:

All of this is very helpful insight! Thanks!

To answer a few questions out there. I have tried Where's my refund? which usually works for me, however it delivers an error message any time I've tried it this year. Also, I'm not exactly sure why my spouse and I can't e-file — when I was single, I used to e-file just fine! Using TurboTax we've tried e-filing jointly many times, but always get an error either immediately or within a few days. The message usually tells us to correct my spouse's birth date (really? really!), but we have no idea how to correct this. We have a copy of the birth certificate and have celebrated the same day every year. We're not sure how to fix this.


The date of birth, name and Social Security number are used by the IRS to verify the taxpayer on the return when the return is e-filed.  The IRS receives the date of birth, and name from the Social Security Administration.  So if you are getting a DOB error on the e-filed return you need check with SS to make sure the information is correct in their database.

To prevent this rejection next year, call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213 to verify their records (this is where the IRS database pulls from). If the info is wrong, please allow 4–6 weeks for correction.

VolvoGirl
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

Check the info on file at Social Security.  The IRS checks the ssn, name, and birthdate with Social Security.

lhem3740
Level 1

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

I am having the same issue on my refund not being processed this year (2021) signed it on April 3, 2022, mailed it out within that week.  I believe it has only been 10 weeks or so, I wonder if I should e file one?  Do I need to wait for longer before I do this?

Thanks

DoninGA
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?


@lhem3740 wrote:

I am having the same issue on my refund not being processed this year (2021) signed it on April 3, 2022, mailed it out within that week.  I believe it has only been 10 weeks or so, I wonder if I should e file one?  Do I need to wait for longer before I do this?

Thanks


Do not file another 2021 tax return.

Mailed 2021 tax returns are taking the IRS six months or longer to process.  Until the tax return starts to be processed by the IRS there will not be any information on the IRS federal tax refund website.

 

IRS website for tax return status information - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue

 

As of June 10, 2022, we had 11 million unprocessed individual returns which include returns received before 2022, and new tax year 2021 returns. Of these, 1.9 million returns require error correction or other special handling, and 9.1 million are paper returns waiting to be reviewed and processed. This work does not typically 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 and in some cases this work could take 90 to 120 days. If a correction is made to any Recovery Rebate Credit, Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit claimed on the return, the IRS will send taxpayers an explanation. Taxpayers are encouraged to continue to check Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions.

VolvoGirl
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

Sorry you need to keep waiting.  It's taking 6 months or more to process mailed returns.  The IRS is way behind.  They are still doing 2020 returns.  Do not file a second time.

NCperson
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

@lhem3740 - DO NOT REFILE

 

The IRS processes all paper filed returns in the order received, regardless of the tax year..... they announced yesterday they were finishing everything received in 2021 this week, meaning that have yet to begin processing any paper filed returns for the 2021 tax year (received in 2022)

 

Patience is key! as others stated figure 6-9 months from April.

SweetieJean
Level 15

What can I do if my printed federal tax return never made it to the IRS?

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