Where’s My Return? Where’s My Refund? Where is the IRS?

According to the IRS, they are “opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual refund returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review. As of December 31, 2021, we had 6 million unprocessed individual returns. Unprocessed individual returns include tax year 2020 returns with errors and those returns requiring special handling such as those that require correction to the Recovery Rebate Credit amount or validation of 2019 income used to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

In other words, they are still really behind. Sometimes returns marked for manual review because of “errors” don’t really have errors. What happened was that Congress, in its infinite wisdom (they were trying to help), passed so much Covid-related relief and delivered it via new (and sometimes retroactive) tax law that the IRS could not re-program their computers to handle the new arithmetic. So “errors” are only errors in the sense that the return has something on it that needs to be checked manually. Heavy sigh.

Needless to say the IRS is heavily promoting filing an error-free electronic return this filing season. Unfortunately, the Service is now admitting that some of the letters they have encouraged taxpayers to rely on may be inaccurate. And anecdotal reports of inaccuracies the Service has not admitted to officially abound on social media (and from reliable sources too). Follow me here and on Forbes [subscription required] for information and recommendations as they become available.