What if my IRS refund is taking longer than 21 days?
The IRS issues refunds, not TurboTax. This means that we can’t say for sure why you haven’t received your refund if it’s been longer than 21 days since you e-filed. You’ll have to speak directly to IRS to find out more about the delay.
If it’s been
- 21 days or more since you e-filed
- 6 weeks or more since you mailed your return
- Or if the IRS’s Where's My Refund page tells you to contact them
Then the IRS asks that you call them at these numbers
- For individuals: 800-829-1040
- For businesses: 800-829-4933
- For those with hearing impairments: TTY/TDD 800-829-4059
To have an efficient call, here’s what you need to prepare.
There are many issues that can delay refunds, including ones over which the IRS has no control. Here are the top three categories:
- Earned Income Tax Credit and/or an Additional Child Tax Credit. If you filed in February or earlier and claimed either of these credits, the 2017 PATH Act requires processing to be delayed.
- Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation). If you included this form on your return, it can take 11–14 weeks to process.
- Form 1040-X (Amended Return). If you amended your return, it can take 12–16 weeks to process.
- Refund offset. The IRS may have discovered you have delinquent debts, which they’re legally required to deduct from your refund. You’ll receive a notice about the offset.
Missing, inconsistent, or suspect information
- The IRS found errors, inconsistencies, or missing info on the return. For example, you and a former spouse both claimed the same child as a dependent.
- The return is under review, which can happen randomly.
- The IRS suspects identity theft or fraud.
- Your refund check really could just be delayed in the mail. The reason could be as simple as a new postal carrier learning your route.
- Electronic payments may be delayed by bank transfer and posting issues.