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DWYM: Millions still wait for delayed tax returns

DWYM: Why are millions still awaiting their income tax refund checks?
Posted at 10:28 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 12:32:41-04

If you filed your tax return months ago, but are still waiting for a refund, you're not alone.

Millions of people still have not received theirs.

Now, we are finally learning why.

The Don't Waste Your Money inbox has been filling up with emails from frustrated taxpayers like Mike Seidenman and Carol Abel.

They ask: where's my refund?

"Normally it's immediate. Last year we filed and got it a week or 10 days later."

"When I was checking on the website, it did finally say we have your return, but we are still working on it. But I have been getting that ever since."

Cynthia Jenkins says her son has been hit with a double whammy!

"He's still waiting on last year’s tax refund and his stimulus, he never got either one," she says.

With the pandemic and labor shortage, you might expect paper returns to take a while.

But the IRS now admits it is woefully behind on millions of paper and electronic returns.

The agency has just admitted it has a backlog of 35 million unprocessed returns.

It blames staffing issues, new tax laws, stimulus checks and now the child tax credit that all go through its computers.

Carol thinks they need more help, immediately,

"If they don’t have many people working in the office, they will never get anything done," Abel said.

The IRS says your refund could take extra time if you:

  • Filed for the earned income tax credit.
  • Requested a missing stimulus check.
  • Were unemployed last year.
  • Were a victim of unemployment ID theft.

It suggests you keep checking "where’s my refund" at

Though Cynthia, Carol and Mike are losing patience.

"It's money we definitely could use."

You can also try calling the IRS, but the agency says less than 10 percent of people have been able to get through.

As always, be patient and don't waste your money.