Where’s My Tax Refund?: IRS Has $153 Million in Undeliverable Tax Refunds

Important IRS Update Regarding Refunds 2-10-2012

The IRS has updated it’s Where’s My Refund site with additional FAQs: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254102,00.html

Some taxpayers who filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit “Where’s My Refund” and are told that IRS has no information regarding their tax return. The IRS informed us on February 10 that this is a temporary situation and should be resolved in several days.  At that time, you will be able to get an expected refund date when you visit “Where’s My Refund.”

This is an IRS issue and impacts returns regardless of who sends them in
to the IRS. This is not a TurboTax issue.

If you have received an acknowledgment of your tax return from the IRS, then the IRS assures us they have received your return and are processing it.

Information on the status of your refund will be updated in “Where’s My
Refund” once your return processes. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days.

IRS expects the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued
within the historical range of 10 to 21 days.

We want to quickly share any updates we receive through IRS because we know many of you are still waiting for  your refund status and estimated direct deposit date.  We really appreciate your patience in this really frustrating time and we’ll continue to provide updates as we receive them from IRS.

So you filed your 2010 tax return and now your wondering, “Dude, Where’s My Refund?”  Possibly, your tax refund is one of the checks out of $153 million in undeliverable tax refund checks just announced by the IRS, with an average refund  totaling $1,547 this year!

Undeliverable tax Refunds

Undeliverable Tax Refunds

Only a small percentage of checks mailed out by the IRS were returned as undeliverable, but 99,123 taxpayers’ 2010 tax refunds could not be delivered because of mailing address errors.  With Christmas coming soon and the tough economy, you need your money as soon as possible.  So how can you track your tax refund and how can you avoid this problem in the future?

How to Track Your Undeliverable Refund?

If you believe your tax refund may have been returned to the IRS as undeliverable:

  • Use the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool.  The tool will provide you with the status and, in some cases, may give you instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.
  • Call the telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” at 1-800-829-1954

How Can You Avoid Undeliverable Tax Refunds In the Future?

Here are steps to take to ensure you receive your 2011 tax refund:

  • E-file your return – E-filing with tax software like TurboTax eliminates the risk of lost papers and errors.  When you paper file there is no way to verify when, and if, your tax return is received or whether or not your tax return has errors.  When you e-file, you receive confirmation from the IRS that your tax return is received and accepted.  The IRS also recommends that you file your tax return electronically and supports tax software like TurboTax.
  • Direct Deposit your Refund Check – Last year, more than 78.4 million taxpayers chose to have their refund checks deposited directly into their bank accounts.  TurboTax gives you the option to deposit your tax refund directly into your bank account or you can request to have your tax refund placed directly on the TurboTax Refund Card.

The combination of e-file and direct deposit is the best option to avoid undeliverable tax refund checks and TurboTax makes it easy!

Nearly 8 out of 10 taxpayers chose to e-file for tax year 2010 and that number is expected to increase for tax year 2011, so what are you waiting for?  Make your plans to e-file and use direct deposit for tax year 2011.

TurboTaxLisa

Lisa Lewis is a CPA and the TurboTax Blog Editor. Lisa has 15 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. Lisa also has been a TurboTax product user for many years and understands how the software program works. In addition to extensive tax experience, Lisa also has a very well-rounded professional background. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Prior to becoming the TurboTax Blog Editor, she was a Technical Writer for the TurboTax Consumer Group and worked on a project to write new FAQs to help customers better understand tax laws. She could also be seen helping TurboTax customers with tax questions during Lifeline. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to customers to help them is paramount.

Comments (61) Leave your comment

  1. my taxes were sent to a wrong account by preparer through taxact. it was direct deposited using account now in 2010. Irs has traced it twice and i was eventually informed by irs that accountnow still had it and they gave me information on account number. ive talked to several people,several dept. gave all requested documents proving im owner of that check and told them irs said the procedure was for them to return it to the originator. There response was blocking my account, blocking my phone and any account ive used to get through automated service to agent. After months and months of apoligizing and transfering back in forth depts with BS, i cant even get through to resolve anything. I dont understand how they are BBB accredited and are not being held responsible. i also filed a complaint with BBB where i got a response from accountnow stating that they wanted to resolve issue and included an email address to correspond to and i did, they still havent replied

  2. Estate received notice of 2012 refund in excess of $3000.00 but, needed death certificates. Certificates were sent however, every 90 days estate receives a letter stating that the IRS needs another 90 days to investigate. I would to close estate what can I do to get this refund. Have called but, to no avail.
    Estate

  3. i did call the irs thousand if time to inform them that i have not recieved it yet so thats when i did the refund trace in march and they said it takes six weeks ok i had to sign another form because i didnt sign the first form so the process started all over again my thing it looks like they would cancel the check and send me a knew one but i have to call back the first week of june this process is very frustrating to me and so unfair….

    • Hi Renita,

      It sounds like you might want to call the IRS Taxpayer Advocate’s office – they are there to make sure that you are being treated fairly by IRS and they can explain any options you might have, like changing to Direct Deposit instead of waiting for a check to be mailed. The number for the Taxpayer Advocate’s office is 1-877-777-4778 and you can learn more about their services at http://www.irs.gov/advocate/article/0,,id=212313,00.html

      Good luck!

      Thank you,
      Denise Elliott

  4. I filed my refund on Jan 21,2012 and it is now May 16,2012 and still no refund i had to do a refund trace why is it taking so long to recieve my money this is absolutely a shame the irs said that the check was mailed back in feb2,2012 but i didnt recieve it what else can be done i really need my refund like yesterday!!!!!!!

    • Hi Renita,

      Did you ask IRS which address they mailed your refund check? If your mailing address matches the information that IRS has in their system for where they mailed the check then you should call them back at 1-800-829-4477 to let them know that the check has gone missing. They will cancel the first check and issue another one if they know that you haven’t received anything yet. They can also do that if your mailing address was correct in their system but you still haven’t received anything from them five months later.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you,
      Denise

  5. I e-filed and was accepted on March 9th…No info was available 72 hours later on WMR…on the 4th day WMR said accepted and being processed. However, there would also be times when I checked WMR and got that no info available are ya sure you entered the correct information prompt. On Wed 14th WMR said my refund would be DD on March 16th…(or by March 21) that DD message kept disappearing and then reappearing. As recently as last night the DD date was there and then 20 mins later it said no info available. My DD refund was deposited to my TT card at about 7 AM this morning. However, WMR says “no information available.” It would appear that the WMR site is unreliable. Not scientific…, but i think the problems are with the IRS and not so much with turbo tax

  6. BTW, my TURBOTAX status when I log in has continuously stated that my return was “accepted.”

  7. TurboTax is a joke. I filed my taxes on January 17. Turbotax claimed the IRS accepted the filing. I never get a refund and when contacting TURBOTAX– just responses about IRS delays–including a response from this blog that directs me to a website talking about the IRS delays. HOWEVER, the problem was with TURBOTAX. I finally contacted the IRS which transferred me to a specific section of the IRS that is dealing with TURBOTAX problems. Seems TURBOTAX did not send my information correctly. Amounts, especially bank account info, was garbled when sent from TURBOTAX. Call the IRS folks,and get your return resent and request a paper check.

    • Hi Bernice,
      I also wanted to explain that when you are notified that your tax return was accepted, that information comes directly from the IRS. If you have incorrect social security numbers or certain errors the IRS will reject your return. Acceptance or rejection of your tax return comes to us directly from the IRS so the IRS must have received your tax return. If your info was garbled, your tax return would not have been accepted.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Acceptance was NOT due to any errors on my part. SSN, etc. were ALL correct. The problem was with Turbotax incorrectly submitting the information. Sorry, but I verified all the numbers that Turbotax has on file with the information submitted to the IRS. Yes, the IRS has delayed some tax returns because of anti-fraud measures, etc. but mine was NOT one of those. I have already verified the problem with technical folks at Turbotax as well as with the IRS. Turbotax had to “fix” the problem and resubmit the correct information for me.

      • Hi,
        I think you misunderstood my comment. I was not saying you did anything wrong. I said we received your acceptance directly from the IRS and if they accepted your tax return it was filed correctly. Now if your bank info was garbled that is an issue that I have not heard about. I’m glad they were able to resubmit your tax return.
        Thank you,
        Lisa

  8. my refund was dd in to the bank on the 6th of feburary and it was return because my card was close for security purposes about 3weeks ago. and i also called irs to see if they recieved but they have not so what can i do?

    • Hi Sheka,
      They should receive your tax refund. If your card is closed for security purposes the bank sends your refund back to the IRS. The IRS is supposed to issue you a check once they determine you should receive the tax refund. I would keep checking with them to find out the status.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  9. Still waitng filed taxes on feb 4 irs told me itv would be deposited on the 15 of the month its now the22 and still nothing.

  10. I did my taxes on January 23rd and got an email from tubo tax that it was excepted. I waited the 72hours to check the irs site it first told me that I should have dd on feb 7th. I figured since it was at night I did my tax return irs didn’t really get it until jan 24th. Well on feb 7th nothing. Then on feb 8th my fiancé got his tax return. What is funny is I am the one that did his and we use the same bank account. So I went back to the irs site and my status changed to 6 weeks. I was told by a lot of people that this means it delayed of a week. Well it’s been a week and nothing. I have called the numbers for the IRS and I get is an automated message. And that e filers should recive thier refunds in 10-21 days. Is this just bussniess days? There’s no way around it hitting 0 doesn’t work it just hangs up on you. I want my money, and don’t want to hear tubo taxes generic reply that looks copy and passed from the IRS site since this is no help to me. I have used tubo tax for 6 years and never had a problem, but I find it funny that my fiancé tax return which was a lower amount got his pretty much on time. Where mine an high amount is being held. I have also read that tubo tax’s bank will hold money to get intrest on it.(which now has me wondering) and that the 6 weeks message means money has been sent out to the bank. Can someone who is not going to give me an copy and paste reply help?

  11. I’m nervous. I love Turbo Tax and I know it’s not you guys fault. But I filed on the 30th, it was accepted the same day, and I should have recieved my deposit today. I went on the IRS.gov website and it said I should get it on the 14th. Why are they changing dates? If it was accepted, could they still find errors and then unaccept my file? I don’t know what’s going on and I have serious bills I would like to pay. I hope they don’t change the date again.

    • Hi Felicia,
      I am sorry about the delay. The IRS is experiencing processing delays. Please see the updates we just received from them today 2/10/12.

      Some taxpayers who filed electronically and received an acknowledgement
      from the IRS are concerned when they visit “Where’s My Refund” and are
      told that IRS has no information regarding their tax return. The IRS
      informed us on February 10 that this is a temporary situation and should
      be resolved in several days. At that time, you will be able to get an
      expected refund date when you visit “Where’s My Refund.”

      This is an IRS issue and impacts returns regardless of who sends them in
      to the IRS. This is not a TurboTax issue.

      If you have received an acknowledgement of your tax return from the IRS,
      then the IRS assures us they have received your return and are processing
      it.

      Information on the status of your refund will be updated in “Where’s My
      Refund” once your return processes. This is a temporary situation, and we
      expect to resolve the matter in a few days.

      IRS expects the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued
      within the historical range of 10 to 21 days.

      The IRS has updated it’s Where’s My Refund site with additional FAQs:
      http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254102,00.html

      We want to quickly share any updates we receive through IRS because we know many of you are still waiting for your refund status and estimated direct deposit date. We really appreciate your patience in this really frustrating time and we’ll continue to provide updates as we receive them from IRS.

  12. are you keeping our refounds ?turbotax?
    because I foud than you get the refound first
    from irs and than you send it to our checking account’s!!!!!!! what’s going on
    irs made a table where says the dates when
    whe supose to get our refound but anyone mach
    with those dates!! just thinking can you anwser?

    • Hi Goodtrie,
      We do not receive your tax refunds. Please see the updates we received from directly from the IRS today 2/10/2012, which will clearly explain that this is an IRS delay and has nothing to do with TurboTax.

      Some taxpayers who filed electronically and received an acknowledgement
      from the IRS are concerned when they visit “Where’s My Refund” and are
      told that IRS has no information regarding their tax return. The IRS
      informed us on February 10 that this is a temporary situation and should
      be resolved in several days. At that time, you will be able to get an
      expected refund date when you visit “Where’s My Refund.”

      This is an IRS issue and impacts returns regardless of who sends them in
      to the IRS. This is not a TurboTax issue.

      If you have received an acknowledgement of your tax return from the IRS,
      then the IRS assures us they have received your return and are processing it.

      Information on the status of your refund will be updated in “Where’s My
      Refund” once your return processes. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days.

      IRS expects the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued
      within the historical range of 10 to 21 days.

      The IRS has updated it’s Where’s My Refund site with additional FAQs: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254102,00.html

      We want to quickly share any updates we receive through IRS because we know many of you are still waiting for your refund status and estimated direct deposit date. We really appreciate your patience in this really frustrating time and we’ll continue to provide updates as we receive them from IRS.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  13. I filed my taxes on Sunday Feb 5th, and it was accepted by the IRS on Monday Feb 6th. As of today, Friday Feb 10 (more than 72 hours), it says that the IRS has no information on my refund. What is going on?

    • Hi Alan,
      Please read the IRS update on this post from today 2/10/2012 regarding the processing delays.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  14. What time should I expect my refund. My paychecks usually clear around midnight, should I expect the same?

    BTW you are very pretty

    • Hi Terrance,
      The IRS is experiencing some processing delays please read the updates here
      The most updated information is available through the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool, https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp. Make sure to wait 72 hours after your return is accepted by IRS before you check your refund status.
      http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-282378?reqfrom=share#.TyHBCA5GIDY.twitter
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I filed on Feb 2. As of today when I check the wheres my refund they still don’t have any information about my refurnd. They accepted it the same day I filed. My boyfriend filed a week before me and he got his refund. When I try to call the irs all I get is a recording. I can’t get any information,I can’t talk to anyone and when I check turbotax for information all I read is a preposted message. The same one all the time. This is riduclaus.

      • Hi Janell,
        I know this must be very frustrating. We have given everyone the latest update from the IRS dated 2/10/12.
        They are experiencing processing delays and this is an industry wide issue. Please read this blog and the update and FAQs from the IRS, which will address your concerns regarding your boyfriend receiving his refund first.
        We are sorry for the delay you are experiencing and hopefully you will receive your refund soon.
        http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/2012/02/11/irs-updates-wheres-my-refund/
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  15. Hi Debbie,my tax refund was suppose to be in my acct today,and its not.when i try to track it on irs.gov,its saying sorry no information,it could take 3 weeks.why is it saying that,it has been accepted. so why irs.gov dont have any info on it?

  16. Hello I filed taxes on JAN 20th 2012 got accepted the same day.. My ” wheres my refund date states by FEB 7th but the turbo tax app had said at First DD date was 1/25/2012 second date was 1/30/2012 and now 2/1/2012. What are the chances of actually getting it tomorrow. Im having it put on the TT card

    • Hi Kathryn,
      The IRS is experiencing delays in processing some federal tax refunds due to changes in their systems. As a result, the original estimated federal refund date provided to you by TurboTax or the IRS may have changed. Your state tax refund is not affected.

      The most updated information is available through the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool, https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp. Make sure to wait 72 hours after your return is accepted by IRS before you check your refund status.

      You can read the IRS update on refund status here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-282378?reqfrom=share#.TyHBCA5GIDY.twitter

      We understand your tax refund is important to you and we are actively working with IRS to ensure our customers’ refunds are processed as quickly as possible.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • BS. It’s called greed and incompetence. No respect for people. You think they would keep us posted with honest info but that’s never an option fit them. Stop changing dates losers

      • Hi Tom,
        Sorry you feel that way. We know how important your tax refund is to you are and we are not changing the dates. It is related to IRS processing delays due to changes in their system. Please read the link written by the IRS on this post. We do not issue the checks. The IRS issues them. This is an industry wide issue and is not just TurboTax.

        You can read the IRS update on refund status here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-282378?reqfrom=share#.TyHBCA5GIDY.twitter

        Hopefully you received your refund or will be receiving it soon.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • My refund was accepted on 20 jan 2012 and i filed for electronic deposit. about a week after that the irs tool said direct deposit would be by the 7th of feb but now it has changed to say:

        Your tax return has been received and is being processed.
        If you file a complete and accurate tax return, your refund will be issued:

        within six weeks of the received date.

        So what is the deal? Aaron

      • Hello everyone,

        The IRS has updated it’s Where’s My Refund site with additional FAQs: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254102,00.html
        We want to quickly share any updates we receive through IRS because we know many of you are still waiting for your refund status and estimated direct deposit date. We really appreciate your patience in this really frustrating time and we’ll continue to provide updates as we receive them from IRS.

        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I had the same thing happen and basically it was only delayed 1 week. My refund was supposed to deposit on the 1st and I got it on the 8th.

      • Hi John,
        Yes the IRS is experiencing processing delays per the information posted on this blog. The dates on the refund cycle chart are estimates per the IRS. In addition, the IRS is experiencing additional delays.

        I am glad you received your refund and I hope everyone else receives them as soon as possible.

        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  17. I received a notice thru my turbo tax that my refund was accepted by the IRS,I filed my taxes last friday 01/27 and it was accepted that same day!!! When do you think I should receive my refund!!

    • Hi Linda,
      You will receive a notice of acceptance from the IRS. They are experiencing some delays. See below:
      Thank you for contacting TurboTax. The IRS is experiencing delays in processing some federal tax refunds due to changes in their systems. As a result, the original estimated federal refund date provided to you by TurboTax or the IRS may have changed. Your state tax refund is not affected.

      The most updated information is available through the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool, https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp. Make sure to wait 72 hours after your return is accepted by IRS before you check your refund status.

      You can read the IRS update on refund status here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-282378?reqfrom=share#.TyHBCA5GIDY.twitter

      We understand your tax refund is important to you and we are actively working with IRS to ensure our customers’ refunds are processed as quickly as possible.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • The comments are the same. Mine still says processing by the 7th. that is 2 weeks after the fact.

      • Hi Debbie,
        Please see the updates from the IRS on this post.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I think eyrbveody is entitled to their own views but I believe a few of your arguments might b…

  18. I looked up the schedule for payments from irs for 2012 and it said if filed by 01/19/2012 you would receive it by Jan 26. when checking on irs wheres my refund i cant get any status on any accepted returns or on sbbtral. no info available…1 refund accepted on the 18th says refund will come on Feb 7th yet sbbtral has no info…what is going on

    • Hi Debbie,
      The IRS is experiencing delays. Please see the cause and information from the IRS here:
      Thank you for contacting TurboTax. The IRS is experiencing delays in processing some federal tax refunds due to changes in their systems. As a result, the original estimated federal refund date provided to you by TurboTax or the IRS may have changed. Your state tax refund is not affected.

      The most updated information is available through the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool, https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp. Make sure to wait 72 hours after your return is accepted by IRS before you check your refund status.

      You can read the IRS update on refund status here: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-282378?reqfrom=share#.TyHBCA5GIDY.twitter

      We understand your tax refund is important to you and we are actively working with IRS to ensure our customers’ refunds are processed as quickly as possible.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  19. Remember, unless you had tax credits, if you received a refund, you paid too much in taxes during the year. The ‘refund’ is your money, not the IRS’s.

    • Thank you for your weitbse post. Manley and I are actually saving for a new e-book on this subject matter and your article has made all of us to save our own money. Your ideas really solved all our inquiries. In fact, greater than what we had known before we discovered your superb blog. I no longer have doubts and also a troubled mind because you truly attended to our needs right here. Thanks

      • Thank you. We are glad you enjoy it. Check back for more up to date tax topics.

        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

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