IRS Tax Transcript Reviews For Adjusted Amended Returns With No Refund or Offsets Delaying Payment

I see many readers on this site and across various social media channels post questions around their tax transcript in hope of getting help or an answer on their adjusted/amended tax return and/or to find out more with what is happening with their refund.

In this article I’ll summarize some of these questions and responses (see comments section for more), which hopefully helps others in a similar situation. I’ll post regular updates and you can subscribe (free) to our email newsletter to get the latest.

State is Completed but still waiting for my Refund (Code 290 vs 846)?

It’s often frustrating when the IRS refund tracker status shows as completed, but you still have no refund payment. This is the case as shown below and is not uncommon for amended returns in particular. So what can you do?

WMAR Status Complete but No Refund
WMAR Status = Completed but No Refund

The answer is to check your transcript AND ensure you review the IRS notice you should have gotten. Just because the WMAR status says completed, does not mean you have a refund due.

In fact the “adjusted” status just means the IRS has adjusted your return following their review. This could add, reduce or completely eliminate your refund, including creating an additional tax liability.

For the example above, you get more information by looking at the taxpayers transcript, you will see several transaction codes between the receipt date (03/09/22) and the completion date (10/28/22).

Codes 570 on 03/21/22 indicates additional reviews are being done by the IRS and your return processing (and refund payment) is frozen until further resolution.

This is after the 971 codes related to IRS notices. You can see it then took the IRS several more months, until 10/17/2022, to complete their reviews and at this stage no tax was assessed ($0 against code 290). However as there is no code 846 – Refund issued, no payment was made to the tax payer.

Code 290 - No Refund Despite Completed Amended Return
Tax Transcript (Amended Return)

You will need to wait for a code 846 entry on your transcript to get confirmation a payment was sent (for amended returns this only by check).

However you can go to the top of transcript as shown in the screenshot below and see that there is an account balance of “-$5,933.” A negative amount is good as it means the IRS owes you money (credit amount).

IRS Account Balance
IRS Account Balance

Unless further actions are taken, which could be the case following you response to the IRS notice (code 971), the IRS will send you a refund for this amount. Unfortunately amended return processing and refund payments are taking a long time, so you will just need to be patient and promptly respond to IRS notices.

Delayed Refund Due to Potential Offset

Tax Filer Question – My transcript shows I’m getting my full refund, but I called the [BFS] offset line and they said it was no debts owed. Then why am I getting this message? Is this normal because I had to amend?

This is likely is due to you also filing an amended return and/or potential interest payment which may be subject to an earlier offset. You should check the WMAR tool as your amended return status check is different to the regular WMR tool (which is shown above).

Once the IRS reconciles your original and amended return, and confirms no debt or interest due, your refund will be released. Could take a while as a manual process that requires agent verification. See reasons why your refund could be offset or lower than expected.

My amended return finally got adjusted.. when should I expect my refund?

It’s currently taking 4 to 8 weeks for folks to get paid (via check for amended returns) after the IRS had adjusted and completed processing. As mentioned above, you should check your transcript to see code 846 for confirmation that your refund is issued.

If the IRS owes you interest for late refund payments, that will also be noted on your transcript as shown in the image below.

Code 290 to 971 to 846 to 776
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