Expect Delayed Tax Refunds from the IRS

Tax payers who submitted their tax returns early this year may have to wait a little longer than anticipated to receive their tax refund. The IRS recently announced there may be delays in tax refunds this year for several reasons, including decreased budgets and staffing and new anti-fraud measures for the IRS computer systems. As of right now, the delays are expected to cost tax payers around a week or longer than the scheduled tax refund dates originally announced by the IRS.

Additionally, tax payers can expect longer wait times for help on the IRS phone lines, increased wait times for tax refunds, and other issues, including the potential for increased identity theft (yet another reason why Identity Theft Protection is a good idea).

Tax Refund Delays

Your Tax Refund May Be Late

The new safeguards put in place by the IRS are designed to better screen tax returns filed electronically and help the IRS combat identity theft fraud and other fraudulent tax refund scams. These thefts cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and can tie up tax refunds for months while the IRS investigates the fraud.

Who is affected by the tax refund delays?

The IRS is currently stating this is a system wide computer update which affects all tax returns filed before January 26th, regardless of who filed, how they filed, or which type of software they use. What this means to the tax payer is that contacting your accountant of software provider won’t do anything to speed up your return, since this is on the IRS side of the house.

As of right now, the delays are only affecting tax payers who filed their tax returns before January 26, 2012. Taxpayers who filed their returns on or after January 26th should still receive their tax return according to the IRS refund schedule.

What to do if your tax refund is delayed

The first thing to verify your tax return was accepted electronically, and verify the date your tax return was accepted by the IRS. If you filed your tax return manually, then you may or may not be affected since it takes awhile for the IRS to enter the returns into the computer (this is done by hand and can take some time depending on the backlog of returns the IRS is working through).

So far, the IRS has stated this only affects people who used E-file during the first week tax returns were being affected. If the date you filed your tax return is among those affected, then there probably isn’t much you can do except wait it out.

The next thing to do is visit the IRS page, Where’s My Refund page, to verify your tax return will be late. You may also be able to check on your refund date via your tax return software, or your accountant may be able to offer assistance in verifying dates.

If your tax return is being delayed for another reason, then it may be a good idea to contact the IRS. It is possible there was an error in your tax return or there may be another problem holding up your refund.

Photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz

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Date published: February 3, 2012. Last updated: January 15, 2015.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. Delonte2019 says:

    still no taxes and no update and they still dont know and one minute this and on minute that and then i went to see that bank website she gave me and they dont have my info

  2. SoonerGurl76084 says:

    I filed our taxes on February 8th. According to the ORIGINAL refund schedule, we should have received our refund on the 15th. I did not get the “we have your refund and are processing it” message until the 14th and according to their information, I can “expect” my return around the 28th of February.

    I just wonder, why would they NOT update their systems to catch fraud BEFORE “tax season” starts? If you owe them money, you are expected to pay on time and with interest “or else”. If they owe you money and are experiencing delays, too bad, take a number and wait your turn.

  3. It i s not just those who filed on or before
    Jan 26th just FYI. I filed mine on the 2nd of Feb. And it was accepted the next day, but was not deposited according to the schedule on the 15th. It says it will be deposited on the 24th, but that remains to be seen as well.

    • I filed mine the 2nd as well, got a deposit date of 3/6/12 then I got the same date of the 24th. The 24th will be three weeks, so I really hope it will be there.

  4. Also, my best friend filed a week after me and got hers a week later on the 15th…. So moral of the story don’t count on a big refund to be on time and keep paying your bills like normal until you actually get it.

  5. Trevor clegg says:

    My original deposit date was the 15th ( my file was accepted thr 6th) and nothibg happend the 15th I check wmr and it said the 28th.. but I checked today and it states it should be tomorrow.

  6. Delonte2019 says:

    Someone help me Im just blown away i havent got them yet. I called and they said that they were reviewing my taxes and then i called again and they said they were going to send them. Then i called again and they said they were in review and they would send me somethingin the mail. IDK if this is because of the changes they made or did i really mess up cause she saying she couldnt tell me exactly what was the problem.

    • I cant even seem to talk to anybody about mine. I keep getting automated systems. Do you happen to have a number tto speek to a live human? I should have got mine on 15th and I cant even check it on wheres my refund site for some reason.

      • Angela when you call the 1040 number trying pressing the # key over and over agian then someone with pick up and can transfer you to another real person- but beware i did this the other day and was transferred only to have another automated recording say due to high call demand they couldnt take my call and then it hung up on me!!! Best of luck- we filed and accepted on Feb 2nd and still no return!!! UGH frusterating!

  7. Filed and accepted on January 19. All the website says is that it has been accepted and is being processed… ugh!

  8. We also filed the 2nd and was accepted next day we were just told Our new date is March 6th. I think its ridiculous. I hope it comes within the next few days Because out daughter is due March 10th and we were planning on taxes to buy the remainder of items we need

  9. I filed February 3 through h&r block. Was told I would receive my taxes by the 15. Now the WMR page tells me the 6! Please tell me that their site is just malfunctioning again

  10. Brooksie97 says:

    There a lot of people that filed Feb2-7th that haven’t received their returns and WMR is saying should receive by March 6th. It is just ridiculous. I filed the 3rd and was accepted the 3rd and they are telling me due to processing delays I should receive it by March 6th. I have had many family and friends that filed after me and have already received theirs!

  11. You would think they would take care of them in the order they were received. Where is the reasoning behind the way they are handling this?

  12. I filed mines on the 27th of January and it told me I should received it on the 14th and now I’m really ****** that its not on there and I have call the hot line but can’t get threw but my mom filed hers on the 2nd and got hers can somebody let me know what’s going on

    • I filed mines Jan 26 and was expecting it on Feb 14 and did not receive it yet. I check wmr and it says that it has been received and is processing. I’m goin crazy…

  13. They are waiting for the check from China to clear the bank, it should be the first week of march. The Chinese New Year messed everything up.

  14. Update: I filed my taxes and they were excepted by the IRS on the 2nd. For two weeks Wmr gave me nothing. Up until Sunday the 19th. They said it was scheduled to be deposited the 24th. So I decided to call td bank to see if there was anything pending and they said my check was there but it wouldnt post til the 24th. Got up this morning and my money is here!! Thank the lord. And good luck everyone:)

  15. I filed mines Jan 26 and was expecting it on Feb 14 and did not receive it yet. I check wmr and it says that it has been received and is processing. I’m goin crazy…

  16. mountaindrew says:

    Anybody know how to file a complaint on these asshats. Filed Jan 18th wtf

  17. softkittywarmkitty says:

    I filed on 2/3 thru Turbotax and my anticipated refund was 2/14. I checked WMR and they said it was expected 2/21 (3 days ago). I understand that there was a delay but why give us a bogus date? We were buying a house and needed those funds for closing costs. Now, we have to beg borrow and please for the funds just so we dont fall out of escrow. STUPID IRS!!! So eager to penalize us for being a day late but it’s too bad, so sad because they couldnt keep their schedules.

  18. UPDATE we filed feb 2 2012 and our return was deposited today!! THANK GOODNESS its taken forever!! Now we are debt free :)

  19. Filed a couple of weeks ago using the Direct Deposit option.IRS Where’s my Refund site says Your expected refund date has been changed due to processing delays. You should receive your refund by February 28, 2012. Please wait until that date to contact us again because we cannot take any action until then. Thank you for your patience.
    It’s the 29th and no direct deposit.

  20. Delonte2019 says:

    update: filed jan.25th and wmr says feb 14th and its feb 29th and they still havent gave me my stuff. I am sick of it idc if they give it to me they do but my lease is almost up and i would love for them to give it to us anytime now.

  21. I got through to a IRS rep and hour ago and was told at least 3 weeks from when they receive the return electronically to the Direct Deposit.

  22. Looked at the return status site and now my date is 3/5 from 2/28.

  23. Got it on the 5th

    • Michelle1216 says:

      Joe that is good to hear because I’m in the same situation. Was all your money there that you originally expected? Maybe mine will be 6 days later, I spoke to the IRS and they said if I don’t receive it by Monday, which will be 6 days later, to call them back.

    • Michelle1216 says:

      I hope mine is there by Monday.

  24. IRS accepted my return for direct deposit on Feb.16. I checked “Wheres My Refund site” which stated I should receive on Feb 28th. Today is March 7th and still no refund. I checked website again today and still says Feb 28th . Does anyone know if there is a direct number to speak with a human ?

  25. Well IRS said it was scheduled to be deposited today but nothing in my account yet.Does anyone know when the banks post to your account?

  26. mountaindrew says:

    This page has pretty much been abandoned, everyone is over at the Facebook page now search for 2011 tax refund delays look for a picture of uncle Sam

  27. tyqauan says:

    been 11 weeks still no refund whats really goin on

  28. I filed on the 27th got accepted on the 2nd and today is the 13th mine still say being processed called the irs and was told i have up to 21 days

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