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Where's your tax refund? The IRS can't say

The refund-tracking tool on the agency's website is not reflecting the status of returns that have been filed. The problem is with the website tool, and refunds have not been delayed.

By Teresa Mears Feb 13, 2012 7:45PM

Last week we wrote about an IRS tool that allows taxpayers to check on the status of their refunds.


Except that now it isn't working.


Do not panic if you go to check on your refund and the IRS appears to have no record of your return. Those who file are still receiving their refunds within 10 to 21 days.


The problem is not with your refund, but merely with the IRS computer setup that gives you the status of your refund.


The IRS emphasizes that if you filed electronically and you received an acknowledgement of your filing, the agency has NOT lost your refund and you should not call to check on it.

Post continues below.

According to the IRS Where's My Refund page,

We are aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit "Where's My Refund" and are told that we have no information regarding their return. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit "Where's My Refund."
If a taxpayer received an acknowledgment message that their e-filed tax return has been received, they can be assured that the IRS has the tax return even though "Where's My Refund" does not reflect that. Taxpayers should not call the IRS unless specifically directed by "Where's My Refund," as there is no new information to give them.

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Feb 13, 2012 10:15PM
Heres a good one. Last years property tax refund for my mother was redone by the irs they deducted256.00 off her refund stating she calucated her income wrong.l She is on social security (NON TAXABLE INCOME) she also get a very small pension check monthly which is also non taxable income. The irs added the two together put it as her ajusted gross income and then added them again to the ajusted gross income. #1 Mom does not file a tax return she does not have an ajusted gross income. So they are saying her income was double what she gets and took some of her refund. We sent in a appeal they received it August 31st 2011 and todate we are told it is still being processed. What the hell if she owed them the money you can bet your bottom dollar she would not be able to say "iTS BEING PROCESSED".  Why mess with our seniors they dont have the engery to defend themselves against the IRS,. 
Feb 14, 2012 1:01AM
If you don't want to wait for your refund, change your W4 withholding and get more in each pay check. That way you won't be giving extra money to the gov't every payday to hold for you til next year. All you're doing is giving them an interest free loan and what if they decided to say, sorry but we can't issue you a refund, we can't borrow any more to give it back to you.  
Feb 13, 2012 10:18PM
It IS frustrating.  However, I agree with some of the other posters:  quit your whining.  Some people get their refunds in 10 days, some in 14, some in a few more.  Even the IRS says "10- 21 days".  They don't say "just 10 days".  If someone got their refund in 5 days, would we complain that we didn't get ours in 6 days?  We have become a nation of complainers and whiners.  We live in a Microwave world.  If it's not done in 2 minutes, then we don't want to wait any longer for it.

Feb 13, 2012 9:34PM
Isn't it funny how there is never a glitch in this system when it needs to debit your bank account, only when it has to pay out.
Feb 14, 2012 5:24AM
The IRS put in a new system to stop the fraud that so many people are committing, especially when it comes to earned Income Credit, and stolen identities. It is trying to protect us honest people who actually do pay their taxes.  The process is having some issues, like any new process. The system will actually be much faster then the older system in time, with the hope of people getting refunds in as little as 3-5 days by next year or in a few years. It is NOT the fault of any certain tax company, or online tax site. All these runors and accusations are amazing. I don't work for the IRS. I simple did some research instead of sitting around twitting and tweeting and facebooking and blogging, or whatever those terms are these days.  Get a life, people/
Feb 14, 2012 7:10AM

In our married life (26 years) we have dealt w/both IRS and workman's comp/US Dept of Labor. I would take dealing with the IRS ANYDAY over dealing with workman's comp!  My husband got hurt on the job and when we didn't receive benefit's from them he started calling. He was actually told "DO NOT CALL THIS OFFICE AGAIN WE WILL CALL YOU". Long story short. They took so long to pay us we: lost our house, they overpaid us when my husband went back to work (unbeknownest to us), accused us of not notifying them he went back to work. THEY DON'T ANSWER THEIR PHONES EVER!!!!!!

And now we have to pay THEM $2600! MY ADVICE TO ANYONE OUT THERE: DO NOT GET HURT ON THE JOB UNLESS YOU ARE A SENATOR BECAUSE WORKMAN'S COMP WILL BE A NITEMARE FOR YOU! My husband's life was just as important as Ms. Gifford's and he DID NOT get the front of the line care she did. AND I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR BEING PISSED ABOUT THAT!

TRY DEALING WITH WORKMAN'S COMP FOR 3 YEARS NOW!  WORKMAN'S COMP? My husband is a federal employee & works in a federal prison. He got hurt on the job. Why didn't you hold his hand after he was attacked?!

Feb 13, 2012 9:31PM
Can I use their excuse when my taxes are late?
Feb 14, 2012 12:43AM

This article is a joke! I'm a registered tax preparer and right now i'm being called every name in the book and some are not even in english.  The IRS is right now 2 1/2 weeks behind in processing refunds - straight from an IRS agent who got tired of me calling him everyday wondering when they are going to release the money to the taxpayers.  We are just now getting checks to people that filed around the 25th of January, they were supposed to get them on February 4th.  And for the thieves of people information - when a person dies DO NOT put the full birthday in the newspaper for the celebration of life.  I had three clients so far that have the SS #'s stolen on family members that past away and now can't file the taxes to clear the estate. One was a son who killed himself and now the parents have to live thru the heart ache of proving that the kid was theirs and that he died - not a easy process.

Feb 13, 2012 8:47PM
So I guess it will be OK to tell the IRS that there will be a delay after April 17 due to a computer problem? Yeah, right.
Feb 14, 2012 12:28AM

Refund question: How does someone who ONLY received public assistance get a huge refund?  Thanks.


Feb 14, 2012 12:12AM
I am tired of hearing how "50% of America doesn't pay taxes." Paying almost nothing in federal income taxes is not the same as not paying taxes.

Social Security and Medicare, both employee an employer portions add up to 15.3% (except for the temporary 2% drop which is going back up). Then you have state taxes and property taxes. Oh, you rent? Guess what, you landlord kindly included that in the price of your rent.

Sales tax, automobile tax, and...any idea how much federal and state tax there is on gasoline? Local taxes, tolls, federal excise taxes (phones), etc.

Employers also have to pay federal and state unemployment taxes, which indirectly reduces your paycheck.

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who isn't forking over at least 20%-30%.
Feb 14, 2012 8:56AM
I prepare taxes. The people that are upset over their refund not coming in are the people that paid ZERO into federal. They claim 3 kids, and get an 8,000 dollar refund. Our tax system is so screwed.
Feb 13, 2012 10:30PM
The govment dosnt have your money.  Theyre broke, spent it on billion dollar bailouts and $500,000 white house toilet seats.
Feb 14, 2012 3:06AM
When you owe the IRS they charge you interest but when they owe you they stick it in your ****!
Feb 14, 2012 4:36AM
Does anything work with the U.S. Government?
Feb 14, 2012 10:34AM
Actually I have no love for the IRS but they have been put in a catch 22. Obama has told them to get out there and raise more revenue. They can't because almost half the population pay no income tax at all. And one third get back more than they put in by the time they take all of thier availiable tax credits. Add to the problem of thier new super dupper software that is suppose to catch tax cheats but is in reality a failure. Our president doesn't understand that you can't tax your way out of this mess. Got to start shrinking and cutting just like you do your home budget.
Feb 13, 2012 9:06PM
LATE GOOD !! I want to add on a pently and late fee just as much that is owed and then add intrest on as daily charge then frezze your account and drain it until you beg for it back if we let you. Then we'll start the whole process over again.We'll get back to you in 2-3 months if your lucky
Feb 13, 2012 10:07PM
I love how most of the comments are talking about excuses for things being late and wanting to use the same excuse.  This just shows that our education system is not teaching people how to read things throughly anymore.  The article says the web glitch is not causing returns to be late just that the systems are not talking to each other correctly.  Also for those that want to complain about rich people not paying taxes, realize that most of the rich people pay what you make in a year in taxes if not more.  As for those that want to complain about paying taxes, hope the police and fire departments do not show up next time you call since they are payed with tax money, that your schools shutdown and that the roads fall apart on your way to work since all of these things are paid for or taken care of with tax money.  Stop complaining that your life is not where you want it to be and better your own damn life instead of thinking you are owed something just because you were born here.  Your life and success (or lack of) is your responsibility.
Feb 14, 2012 10:35AM
Why does this surprise anyone? I worked for the IRS for three years and they have the most antiquated out of date computer systems  I've ever seen in my 20+ years of working for federal agencies.  I always pondered on why the one agency in the entire government that actually BRINGS IN money seemed to be the one agency who never had any to spend updating its systems.  I guess it makes about as much sense as anything else in government but its really stupid if you ask me...
Feb 13, 2012 8:59PM
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