How long after my Tax Advocate determines that I have a significant hardship does the examiner have to release my refund?

I filed early using form 8863 and like millions of others had to wait until 2/14/13 for the IRS to begin processing. They FINALLY finished processing it on 2/17, only for me to discover I was 'under review'. I contacted the IRS Tax Advocate on 2/18, faxed all requested documentation, and was told on 2/21 that she had determined that I actually  have a "significant hardship" because electricity had been shut off on 2/15. She told me on 2/21 that she would forward my documents along with the request to exidite my refund to the examinations department, and that they had 3 days to give it to an examiner and the examiner had 10 in which to resolve the case.  It is 3/13, when I called today, a representative from the examination dep't. told me only that my documents had been received and that my account still showed no refund release date. I just want to know if anyone has had this SAME situation and how long they had to wait for their return to be released.
    Understand that the Taxpayer Advocate is there to advocate for you but does not have special powers, So if your case is in examination for example when the TA takes your case examination moves it to the head of the line for processing which is a good thing. But examination still makes the call if your documentation is sufficient to release the refund or not. TA's are not examiners so any statement by a TA about the return should be accepted as filed should be taken with a grain of salt.
    • I understood that when i talked to her, but thank you. You went through same thing? See, irs agent made it out to believe the tax advo had special powers, so I was sooo relieved, but I think what happened with my refund was pure coencidence...
    I too got the 5017c letter on monday and completed the question online.  I was assigned an adovocate on tuesday and today finally got a call.  She was a very nice lady.  Said she did not see any issue or problem with my return and said she is requesting my return be release as we were speaking. and that i should receive my return by March 23 and to call her extension back if i dont.  I am sure they will contact you very soon! I will post an update. good luck to you as well.
    • Did you get the refund today
    • I filed feb 15th, and accepted same day. Waited 21 days which was march 7th, nothing had changed. I called irs and they say i had been sent a letter by id theft and was to resolve before they could continue processing. i resolved id theft issue march 13. I was told wait 9 weeks before calling back( they read from a script), i called everyday because i knew that was b.s., finally a week later from the 13 a irs agent told me about the tax advocate service and he flagged me for a case immediatly. My case lady said there was nothing she could do but check monday which was march 18 to see if irs updated my refund. Well the saturday before that monday i checked wmr and was approved and being sent on march 27th. I spoke to tax adv ser march 15(friday),was approved next day on saturday and getting refund wednesday...this is coincidence????
    • Call me pinky, name is brad 304-640-5383
    I am in the exact same boat. Last year I waited till August to file my taxes electronically and when it was denied I soon learned someone filed as me and the nightmare started.After about 50 calls or more I ended up with a tax advocate and she was amazing. I finally got the check in September.  She told me as long as I used the "pin" they assigned me for tge next several years, I would be fine...Guess what, I filed, used this pin that I was told to guard with my life and no refund...Problem is this year I really need the money very badly and believed it would be refunded in a relatively normal time frame. So again I have a tax advocate except this time he went in vacation April 8 -12 and never calls when he says he will..He is now telling me the IRS resolved the problem, but cant tell me what problem and stold me Friday the computers do not update daily so he will not have a date when the check is to be released until next Friday. So the advocate you have makes a big difference.
    • ID theft is totally out of  control in this country. 10 years ago the IRS had zero people working ID theft as a full time job. Today they have thousands of people who are doing nothing but ID theft cases. I hope you sent a letter to the Advocate's manager last year. You got incrediably good service. You filed in August, had and ID tfeft issue, and had the issue resolved and a refund check in September. The average time it is currently taking to resolve ID tfeft cases is somewhere around 9 months. That you got a refund in what was basically the normal processing time for a late filed return is amazing.
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