Breaking News
More () »

IRS reports a backlog of 35 million unprocessed tax returns

The agency recently reported a backlog of 35 million unprocessed returns — that's both paper checks and direct deposits.

HOUSTON — I've been hearing from more and more viewers lately, asking why they have not yet received their tax refund. 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. He's just one of millions of Americans still waiting for delayed tax refunds.

"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," Seidenman said.

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," Jenkins said.

With the pandemic and labor shortage, you might expect paper returns to take a while. The IRS now admits it is woefully behind on millions of both 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 Abel 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; or were unemployed last year. It can also be delayed if you were a victim of unemployment ID theft.

The IRS suggests you keep checking "Where's My Refund" at IRS.gov although many are losing patience. 

"It's money we definitely could use," Seidenman said. 

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

KHOU 11 on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Before You Leave, Check This Out