Still Haven't Received Your Tax Refund? Here's What the Holdup Could Be

If it's been longer than three weeks since you filed your tax return, here are the likely explanations for why your money is late.

If you're still waiting on your tax refund to be direct-deposited and it's been more than three weeks since you filed your tax return electronically, there's likely an issue. On average, tax refunds generally arrive within 21 days if there are no errors. 

The IRS announced on March 23 that some refunds could take a little longer and listed a variety of common factors that may delay your tax refund from a timely arrival. 

"The IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills," the agency said. 

You should also be aware that it can take the bank several days to process the deposit before it hits your account. Online payment services like Venmo and Cash App skip processing delays and provide your money two days earlier.

Here are nine of the most common reasons IRS money is delayed this year. For more, find the best free tax software, see how to track your refund to your bank account or your mailbox, and learn how to create an online IRS account. For those who haven't filed yet, you've got less than two weeks left -- the tax deadline day is April 18. We'll keep this story updated.

When you file your tax return, it's important to cross-check any information you've included to make sure it's accurate. For instance, don't mix up the numbers of state taxes withheld with federal taxes withheld. Before you submit your taxes to the IRS, simply take a second look to fix any potential errors and make sure you've filled out each field.

Also, if you received child tax credit payments last year, make sure the amount on Letter 6419 matches the amount you received. If an incorrect amount is entered, the IRS will need to further review your tax return, which the agency says will result in an "extensive delay."

Note that if there's a problem that needs to be fixed after you submit your return, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. That means it could be days or weeks before you know there's a problem.


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