KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Many who have already filed taxes this year are waiting weeks to receive their federal tax refunds, and a major backlog at the Internal Revenue Service is the reason for the wait.
Kelly Nagel is used to this being her busy season, but 2021 tax time is even crazier. “We keep seeing changes. We’re processing a certain way. Then we’re like, ‘Whoa stop. We’ve got to do it this way now,’ so it’s hard to keep up with,” said Nagel, who works with Innovative Tax and Accounting Solutions.
The IRS is still processing nearly 7 million returns submitted last year for 2019, partly because the filing deadline was extended during the pandemic. “There’s been such a delay, and a lot of it was they were completely shut down. And even now, a lot of them are working remotely. They’re not at full capacity,” Nagel said.
Faith Perdue runs a small event planning business, which was hit hard this time last year. “It was crazy. It was challenging for sure,” she said. Perdue filed her taxes February 17, a few days after the IRS started taking returns.
“They have a bar at the top that showed in the one spot it said it had been processed or received, and it stayed there and it stayed there and hasn’t changed since about a week ago. It said it changed and said your return is still being processed and check back for updates,” Perdue said.
She and thousands of others who’ve filed in the last month are now impatiently awaiting their all-important federal refund checks. “We have this little carrot dangling in front of us that we know could definitely help us financially, and we have to wait, and that’s maddening at times,” Perdue said.
Experts say the process will likely only be bogged down further as the IRS processes the third round of stimulus payments. And a change to the new American Rescue Plan causing unemployment benefits not to be taxed may force millions to file amendments to their return, clogging up the system even further.
“Be patient. Be patient with us because it is changing, and it’s going to change more,” Nagel said.
The IRS says most people who have filed taxes by now should get refunds by March 22. The fastest way to get your money is to make sure you’ve got direct deposit set up. In addition, there has been speculation that like last year, this year’s tax season could be extended beyond April 15, but no decision has been made on that just yet.