Delayed Refunds: Navigating Tax Season 2023 – how long does it take to get your tax refund direct deposit?

Many tax filers are now seeing messages on their IRS2Go and WMR app that confirm their tax returns are going to take longer than normal to process. Tax Topic 152, which just alludes to ongoing and potential processing delays, has not provided much help.

So some are turning to their tax transcript and IRS cycle codes to infer refund processing dates, but even that seems to be updating irregularly.

The IRS also announced that early filers claiming the CTC and EITC credits, and hence subject to the PATH freeze (lifted on Feb 16th), will only see refund payments and direct deposits from late February.

Generally, the IRS issues more than 90% of refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and could take longer than the standard time.

Based on the latest data, [the IRS] had over 2 million unprocessed individual returns. These include tax year 2022 returns, 2021 returns that need review or correction and late filed prior year returns. Of these, 1.6 million returns require error correction or other special handling, and 475,000 are paper returns waiting to be reviewed and processed.

This work does not typically require the IRS to correspond with taxpayers, but it does require special handling by an IRS employee which results in processing and refund delays.


I will continue to monitor/update readers on refund payments, processing delays and you can subscribe here or via the following options to get the latest news.

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IRS processing delays and code 152

2012-2022 IRS Processing

With the pandemic entering it’s third year and ongoing staffing shortages, the IRS has confirmed what many have known – tax return processing and refund payments will likely take longer than expected this year.

A trend that was clear last year, IRS refund processing and payments may get even worse in 2022. Recent headlines from major publications all but confirmed this, as did the IRS’ own reporting.

IRS delays expected and horrendous 2021-2022 season expected
Refund payment delays and challenges this tax season

The theme was evident everywhere. Unlike refund payment delays last year, the IRS is trying to get ahead of the bad news and issued their own warnings and what to do.

However, even you file early and correctly as recommended using the best tax software providers, you will still likely face delays if your return has issues with items related to the advance child tax or earned income tax credit.

Steps to get you tax refund faster

Ultimately many taxpayers will need to call the IRS to resolve their tax related issues, but that is going to be a lengthy process as getting through to a live agent can take hours during the peak of tax season.

But here are some tips and items to remember.

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Feel free to leave a comment below as well with your experiences or to help others stuck waiting for a refund.

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2 thoughts on “Delayed Refunds: Navigating Tax Season 2023 – how long does it take to get your tax refund direct deposit?”

  1. I filed 2017 & 2018 on 7/15/2020; paper returns. I kept getting notices for failure to file since June-2021. Finally on March 22, 2022 the 2017 return was processed. I was to receive a refund, but the IRS entered the day of receipt as 3/22/2022. They wiped out the refund due to the time had lapsed for the refund to be issued. In the past the IRS had always entered the date they actually received the return and based the refund on that date. Anyone else seen this? The 2018 return is still not processed and the IRS says not to resend on their website. Now the 2018 return will have lapsed for a refund! Yes, I have tried calling but after holding for a ridiculous amount of time I gave up.


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