Ongoing tax return processing delays and additional reviews mean many tax filers are getting multiple letters from the IRS, including ones stating that their tax return (and refund payment) will be further delayed for up to an additional 60 days.
In this article I’ll go through some reasons behind the 60-day notice and what you can do about it. You can subscribe (free) to our email newsletter to keep getting updates and similar articles in the future.
Taxpayers may get the “We need an additional 60 days” notice (see section below) from the IRS several times during the year, each one extending the delay in getting their federal refund payment.
This additional delay notification has been especially frustrating for filers who have been unable to learn when their tax return might be processed or when they can expect to receive their refund.
The following reader comments sums this situation up well, which you can probably relate to.
(Joanne) The first [IRS] letter stated my refund was under review with absolutely no other explanation. Then 2 months later I received a letter stating they needed an additional 60 days. Now the other day I received another letter saying they needed another additional 60 days.
(Marie) This is so frustrating. I wish they [IRS] would at least offer up more of an explanation. It would make the waiting that much less excruciating…”
(Tom) I submitted my taxes in February and I still haven’t gotten them! Just the typical “We’re sorry your refund has been delayed beyond the normal timeframe” BS.
I think I’ve received 3 different IRS letters in the mail saying that they need 60 more days to process it. I am so upset and defeated. I need my money.
Tax filers also continue to see other messages on the IRS WMR site stating that “Return Processing Has Been Delayed Beyond The Normal Timeframe” or “N/A” on their tax transcript filing status.
Why the delay?
While the delay could be simply due to IRS processing backlogs, the more likely reason is that your return got flagged for additional processing due to missing or incorrect information the IRS systems cannot automatically reconcile.
This pushes your return to their “error” department for manual review, which is then subject to the limited availability of their examiners.
Note that, those filing late or amended returns in particular, will see these 60 day extension letters as the IRS is legally allowed to request more review time to review these returns, which do require more manual reviews.
You will get an initial IRS notice which will state the additional delay (E.g a letter 2645C) and extra time for the IRS to review and respond (normally 60 days).
If they need something from you they will send a follow-up letter (e.g. CP05 or or 4464C) that will likely provide more details and actions to take. So it’s important you closely monitor and action any correspondence from the IRS.
You may get yet another 2645C letter, which says another 60 days is needed for the IRS to action your tax return. The cycle repeats as the IRS completes processing or request more information.
How to find more details on why your taxes are taking so long?
You should always be on the look out and check for formal IRS letters/notices around why your tax return is facing delays. Also review your return for mistakes and if you have an accountant or tax preparer, talk to them.
While this may not tell you a final refund payment date or specific IRS review dates, it can provide some insight into what is going on with your tax return and where the IRS is with processing based on the transcript codes.
Unfortunately there is not much else to do and even your tax filing provider (e.g TurboTax or H&R block) won’t be able to help you much since they don’t have access to IRS systems and will only see what you see.
Who can I Contact at the IRS for Help?
You can try calling the IRS, but getting an agent will be a challenge. And even if you do get a live agent, the most likely response will be that your return is processing and to wait for a formal update from the IRS examiners after additional verifications are done.
If it’s been more than 60 days since you heard back from the IRS via an updated notice or paid refund, you should also call them at 800-829-1040.
You should also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) to see if they help with your return or refund if the IRS has completed initial processing and you are not sure what is happening with your refund.
Contacting your Local Congressional Representative
The method has also helped a few taxpayers who have generally seen some real updates or movement on getting their refund 1 to 2 weeks after contacting their local representative.
You can find your local Congressional contact by Googling your “[your zip code] Congress Representative Taxes Help”. E.g search for “90172 Congress Representative Taxes Help.” You can change the “Taxes Help” part to refund help or to the related issue you need help with.
You will be taken to a webpage as shown below with contact details or a submission form to complete. Don’t submit any PPI or sensitive documents on the website, just explain your issue. If talking to someone do the same and ask them to send you a secure portal to submit any sensitive documents or information.
Once they get your information they will assign a staff liaison who will get back to you and may request additional information. You will likely have to sign a document (with your spouse if married) for them to inquire with the IRS or your state taxation agency on your behalf.
You will generally need to give them a few days or weeks to get you answers. You can follow up, but if your claim is legitimate and you are facing real financial hardship they will keep in touch and push hard for you with their contacts (which get more attention at the IRS).
Even if they cannot get you your money faster, they can confirm what is holding up your return and keep advocating on your behalf.