Tax refund delays from the IRS leave Triangle residents waiting for thousands of dollars

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Where is my tax refund? That's the question many ABC11 viewers are asking Troubleshooter Diane Wilson as they await their money.

The issue doesn't just affect taxpayers waiting for 2020 refunds, but also some taxpayers are still waiting for their refund from 2019.

Raleigh resident Lakia Perry is waiting for a more than $5,000 tax refund from her 2019 taxes.

"Here we are almost a year later and still nothing."

SEE ALSO: Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package could affect your 2020 taxes. Here's how

She filed her 2019 taxes electronically in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She even got a confirmation that her return was accepted.

She waited a few months, but no money. She made calls and emails to the IRS but says it got her nowhere.

"I use (the IRS) website; there is nothing on the website that helps you, and then when I call the number you can't get through," Perry said.

Besides waiting for 2019 refunds, we are also hearing the same frustrations for those who already filed their 2020 taxes.

Lyndsay Bean is one of those taxpayers.

"It says 'Your refund is processing. We will give you a date when available,' but it's been like that since February 17."

SEE ALSO: North Carolina extends tax filing, payment deadline to May 17

When Bean checks online for the status of her nearly $4,000 refund, she gets the same notice every time saying that it is processing.

"It's kind of strange that I'm getting the third stimulus so fast, but where is the refund? The refund is the higher amount; that's what we need."

The IRS admits it was behind on processing refunds for 2019 after being forced to shut down some offices due to the pandemic. As for 2020 returns, according to the most recent data from the IRS there are 7.6 million returns that have not yet been processed, more than three times the number in the same period last year.

The IRS states while most refunds are issued in 21 days, some may take longer because the return requires additional review. According to the IRS, calling the agency will not speed up your refund. The best way to check is online at, click get refund status.

According to the IRS, here are the several reasons a tax refund may take long:

  • The return may include errors or be incomplete.
  • The return could be affected by identity theft or fraud.
  • The return includes a claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.
  • The time between the IRS issuing the refund and the bank posting it to an account since many banks do not process payments on weekends or holidays.

The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if more information is needed to process a return. To get your tax refund as quickly as possible, it's advised you file electronically. If you need more time to file, you're getting it as the IRS extended the tax deadline until May 17th.
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