Millions of taxpayers still waiting for 2019 refunds to arrive, report says

Backlogged cases with IRS has led to request for this year’s deadline to be extended

Stock image/Nataliya Vaitkevich
Stock image/Nataliya Vaitkevich (Pexels)

As people get ready to either file their tax returns or receive refunds from returns already filed for 2020, the IRS is still dealing with a big problem.

Due to issues from the COVID-19 pandemic that backlogged cases, millions of Americans still haven’t received their refunds from last year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

In mid-February and based on data through Jan. 30, the IRS said it hadn’t yet processed 6.7 million individual income tax returns for 2019. The issue is so serious that the House Ways and Means Committee is asking the IRS to return the deadline for 2020 returns beyond April 15.

The article quoted a Michigan resident who said she filed her 2019 taxes on Feb. 7, 2020, but has yet to receiver her refund.

Even the IRS is a bit flummoxed by the situation.

In early February, the IRS sent notices to about 260,000 taxpayers claiming they hadn’t filed their tax return from 2019, but there was a problem: Most of those taxpayers did file the returns, but they hadn’t been processed yet.

“I’ve never experienced someone waiting 10 to 11 months for a refund from the IRS -- and I’ve been doing this a while,” said Antonio Brown, a CPA who has been preparing taxes for 16 years, in the article.

Last August, the IRS said that interest payments would be made to taxpayers who were experiencing unusual delays.

Ken Corbin, the IRS chief taxpayer experience officer, said on Feb. 11 that the IRS has caught up on the mail, but is still sorting through other clarifications such as math errors on individual returns.

It remains unclear how much longer those anticipating their refunds from 2019 will have to wait, or if this year’s deadline will be extended.

But for the IRS, it could be difficult to focus completely on 2020 in the coming months with millions of 2019 returns still not processed.


About the Author: