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Broken refund tool on IRS website is temporary, says agency

dollar101011_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

It’s income tax time again, and many people have taken advantage of the new “Where’s My Refund?" tool to track their expected refund from our friends at the Internal Revenue Service.

A lot of taxpayers file early and electronically so they can receive a quicker refund from the IRS. The IRS set up the new page to tell people the status of their refund. But there’s only one small problem with that question right now.

They don’t know. At least not right now.

The “Where’s My Refund?” page on the IRS site offers the following update: "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."

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. The IRS is taking steps to update information so that Where's My Refund has current information. The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience and will provide updated information as soon as possible.

The IRS experienced delays during mid-to-late January that they said were related to fine-tuning of their systems adding protections against refund fraud. According to Time, the delays in issuing refunds were about a week, and affected taxpayers who filed online between Jan. 17 and 25 through direct deposit. They expected to have things fixed by January 26. Wrong. Those “few days” have grown longer.

Spokeswoman for TurboTax Julie Miller told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The Where’s My Refund tool is supposed to update every 72 hours, and that doesn’t consistently happen. We are telling people if you file through TurboTax and you get an acknowledgment that your return has been accepted, you don’t need to refile.”

According to the International Business Times, refunds are often delayed because they have an old address and can’t be delivered. The IRS says that on “Where’s My Refund?” taxpayers have to provide their Social Security number, filing status and the amount of the refund owed on a previous return in order to update their address and receive the refund.

Federal tax returns are due this year on April 17.

 

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