Where's my refund? Tax refunds still missing for many, despite IRS saying it has sent the money

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, July 14, 2022
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Thousands of dollars worth of federal tax refunds are missing. The IRS said it sent the money months ago, but many taxpayers are still waiting for it.

Thousands of dollars worth of federal tax refunds are missing.

The IRS said it sent the money months ago, but many taxpayers are still waiting for it.

"It's a lot of money--over $16,000. I just need my money," Crystal Williams said.

Nichole Smith is another person still waiting for her 2021 tax refund. Her's is worth more than $17,000.

"It's really frustrating being that I have six kids and I need my money," Smith said.

Both women filed their taxes through Turbo Tax and thought they would get their tax refunds by check. Instead, their money was deposited in Santa Barbara Tax Product Group also known as TPG, which is the bank that processes refunds when you choose to have your tax preparation fees deducted.

Both women have called Turbo Tax about not getting their tax refund.

"Turbo Tax says that it's out of their hands now," Smith said. "I've reached out to them, but nothing, and there's a prerecorded message."

Williams said she has been able to get through to TPG and they said back in the spring that they sent her a refund check.

"If you don't have to by April the 10th call us back and let us know," Williams recalled TPG telling her. Williams said this went on for weeks. She never got her refund check from TPG despite the company claiming they sent it three different times.

"I have informed delivery. I have a PO Box and I have no problem getting my mail. The issue is they're saying that it's being put in the mail--it's not like it's like getting lost every time that they say they put it in the mail. It's not happening," Smith said.

It's not an issue for just Smith and Williams. The Better Business Bureau has more than 1,000 complaints filed against the Santa Barbara Tax Products Group in the last 12 months, and the company has an F rating. The majority of the complaints involve frustrated taxpayers waiting for their tax refund from TPG.

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson reached out to both TPG and Turbo Tax. TPG is owned by Greendot and neither company responded, but Turbo Tax said it would work with Williams and Smith directly. Both women confirm they did hear from Turbo Tax and hope to get the tax refunds they're entitled to soon, after months of waiting.

When it comes to tax refunds for the 2021 year, while the IRS already processed Williams and Smith's tax refund, the IRS is still processing returns for other taxpayers, mainly those who did not file electronically. If you filed by the tax deadline, if you do not receive your refund within 45 days of filing, the IRS is obligated to pay you interest for each additional day you don't get your refund.