What Does IRS Tax Topic Code 152 Mean For My Refund Payment and Processing Delays Beyond Normal IRS Timeframe?

The IRS processes tax returns based on a standard set of guidelines and instructions. These are codified in tax codes, which are then used across various internal systems to process returns, manage errors and eventually pay refunds.

These codes are simplified to tax topics for individual and business filers to provide insight and share information into what is currently happening with their tax return, why there are processing delays, when a refund will be paid or why it was lower than expected (offsets).

There are dozens of codes and topics, but one of the most common ones seen after filing a return is Tax Topic 152 (TC 152). You will generally see this on WMR/IRS2Go once your return has been received by the IRS and is under processing or delayed for some reason.

Tax Topic 152 is more of a catch-all/informational message around your refund processing timeline and potential delays. No additional steps from the tax filer are needed at this point.

But it could have several implications once the IRS completes processing and they are setting expectations that your refund may be delayed (for a variety of reasons).

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Should I worry if I see Tax Topic 152 on my Where is My Refund (WMR)?

There is no need to get too worried about this tax topic if you see it soon after your return is filed. Many early filers who submitted returns at the start of tax season, saw this message because the IRS backlogs, PATH delays, and system issues in the last few years has mean processing delays, due to no fault of the tax filer.

While most returns are processed within twenty-one days, Tax Topic 152, may be an early indication your return has been held for further review and could take longer than the standard 21 day processing timeframe.

Returns could be held longer than 21 days if you are making an injured spouse claim, submitting an amended return, or requesting a refund of tax withheld.

Once processing moves on or an issue is identified it will change to one of several other potential tax topics.

Tax Topic 152 IRS2Go Refund Information
Tax Topic 152 IRS2Go Refund Information

One your tax return processing resumes, you should see your refund in 10 to 14 days. Tax Topic 846 on your transcript will indicate payment, along with your WMR status going to refund paid.

When happens after Tax Topic 152 processing?

If the Tax topic changes to 151, then it means your return is under a potential audit or held for further examination.

Now audits, while scary, are done at different levels and for most people an audit just means an IRS agent will check your return manually and send you a letter with discrepancies, adjustments or asking for payment. You will also see tax code 420 or 424 reflected in your tax transcript at this stage.

The one tax topic you don’t want to see – because it could significantly delay your return and potential refund is Tax Topic 148. This topic means the tax filer is under an IRS fraud alert and are being subjected to an audit followed by a Identity or fraudulent return review.

This is something you will need to work with the IRS for to resolve, who will send a you a formal notice with details on the fraud alert.

You can read more around Tax Topic 152 on the IRS website or see more in this video.

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41 thoughts on “What Does IRS Tax Topic Code 152 Mean For My Refund Payment and Processing Delays Beyond Normal IRS Timeframe?”

  1. I Filed AAA Acounting serives for along time and they never got back at me about my tax refund at all I never had any problems at all but my refund but this year filing in march 14,2022 their is nothing their that shows I file on record when go to look for my refund it say cant help with that go back to your tax person about your refund or been process delay or tax 152 on it and its been four months now and the man who did my taxes has not told me anything at all what should I do some one give me advice what to do about this issue please.

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  2. Well, everyone what about the 90 to 120 days delay info with a 152 meaning we would wait until the 120 days that we would know something right. Tell why you hadn’t looked or done since you got it on your desk what you didn’t do was no work for a 119 days plus when you accepted on the February 7th but placed on your desk on the 17th and that means I should of known about taxes because that’s what they told me by word of mouth and you have it written down. He says to me, make a long story short that I needs to do a n amended tax and it will take twenty more weeks. I replied why would I do that because you have that written down as well that do not do a amended taxes until you receive a letter from the IRS. So everyone God bless us because I four children, wife, and self will be outdoors. Oh on top of that I am a diabetic need meds. No refund check yet. Welcome to the club I said you all trying to make back the money you gave away but you are doing off the mercy of people who works hard but struggle so much for a group of people who call their selves running America and cannot add and give the people their refund check to pay bills. Then the bill collectors can stop calling. Let’s pray hoping we get something soon.

    Sincerely,

    Richmond Flowers

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  3. I filed on April 15th 2022 & got a notice beginning of may that I needed to verify my identity with id.me or irs office so got my account updated & my identity verified with id.me on May 14th 2022 & immediately got a confirmation email saying I’d successfully completed the verification. So I logged back into my irs account, nothing new then about 2 weeks later when I logged in it asked me 3-4 questions about my tax filing this year & a couple questions about my requested method of payment (verify my account & routing numbers) and then again I got the congratulations for successfully confirming my info. And now I still have had absolutely no changes on my refund status yet, it’s been over 2 months since I’d e-filed with turbo tax, no bars or date yet on my refund status app, just says topic 152 STILL!!!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS FOR REAL, HAVE NEVER HAD THIS KINDA PROBLEM BEFORE EVER & this year was the most simplest of any return I’ve ever filed in my life damn near pushing 30 years worth of filing and have never been like this & I’ve heard it can be anywhere from 90 days to 9 weeks (or more) before I hear anything, needless to say actually receive it!!! But this is just 1 small example outta the multiple staggering mega’s that assure me that I need to seriously look into a citizenship that lacks government all around for real….I’m quite capable of getting myself screwed over all by myself, I don’t need corrupted people with power trips & leverage like they do to do it for me

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    • You can say that again, Im in the same boat. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I retired early after getting hurt on the job. I filed March 28th. How can the United States help others and they are leaving us out in the cold!?

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  4. Has anyone eventually received their returns. I’m going to be homeless very soon if I don’t get mine soon. Kinda smells a little fishy. Fuel prices are so high it’s raising the price of everything so we can’t afford to feed, our family drive to work or basically just live, and then restrict the one major thing that helps us do that every year. I bet half or more U.S. citizens can barely afford to live right now and depend on their income tax returns. Hmmmm!?!?!

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  5. This is BS. It’s our money and the IRS is doing what they want with it. It’s bad enough you have to tax our already taxed dollars. Now you gotta make us wait and wait to get our money? It’s rightfully ours. We busted our asses making it! Now hand it over.

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    • I totally agree. I am irrate. I filed Jan 28th and still haven’t gotten my federal taxes. They should be reprimanded if it takes more than 90 days.

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  6. I filed my taxes March 6th was accepted March 7th. Still saying tax topic 152.
    Does anyone know what I can do? Has anyone received there taxes after tax topic 152?
    Please help, I have 6 kids and no job. Need some answers.

    Thanks!

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    • Yes. You just have to wait. See some of the other comments. You can also contact a tax advocate for extra help given your situation.

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  7. I did my taxes Feb 9th and know saying topic 152 and haven’t heard or got my taxes yet what the ……. Is going on and hr block did my taxes.

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  8. I did filed my tax on 3/10/2020. Few mins later, i got accepted because i used Taxslayer to did the filing. Few days later, got code 152 tax topic. The tax topic 152 disappear and my status is now saying Still been procced that, a refund date will be provide when available. Till this moment, still saying the same thing. Is IRS scamming us? This doesn’t looks right. I’m broke and unemployed now, i need my money. Anyone got their return yet to their account?

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  9. I did my taxes February 2, 2022 and still haven’t received anything I got the Code 152 And as today it’s saying the same thing. And the people that did my taxes they won’t call me back or answer my text

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  10. I filed my taxes Mar 29 of 2022 And it’s said it being processed at first now it’s telling me my information don’t match what does that mean..,..

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  11. I RECEIVED THE FIRST AND SECOND STIMULUS. 3RD STIMULUS WAS SENT BUT NEVER DID I RECEIVE IT JUST A LETTER INFORMING ME THAT IT WAS SENT.

    NOW THAT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO AS FAR AS TRACKING IT DOWN THROUGH IRS IT’S NOW 152 TAGGED THOUGH ACCEPTED AFTER ALL.

    AFTER READING PEOPLE COMMENTS I WONDER HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT TO BE RESENT WHAT I HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED.

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  12. Yes this is some bullsh#@ right here. There may be a delay due to the covid 19, HORSESH!T!!!!! COME ON…… HOW ABOUT DURING THE REAL COVID 19 PANDEMIC- I GOT MY TAXES BACK WITH NO DELAYS FOR 2 YEARS AND NOW THIS????? IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!! WHY DONT YOU JUST ADMIT YOUR KEEPING OUR MONEY AS LONG AS YOU CAN TO COLLECT THE INTEREST OFF OF IT, while people who earned that money are unemployed and seriously need it to get by. AND WOULDNT YOU KNOW IT CANT SPEAK TO A SOUL AT THE IRS… PEOPLE SHOULD REVOLT!!!

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    • H&R block did my tax filing they don’t know what’s wrong I have waited a long time for my refund I need an answer for delay no one can tell me why or where it is please tell me something this isn’t tax money it’s my ss money

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  13. I WAS ACCEPTED ON 1/29 I TOO STILL HAVE TOPIC 152!!! THIS IS HORRIBLE FIRST TIME EVER I HAD TO WAIT THIS LONG!!! WHAT IS GOING ON!! ITS GONE ON TOO LONG WE WANT ANSWERS LIKE NOW!!

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  14. I filed my taxes on Jan 30th and still no refund it says topic 152. I really need my refund and they are just holding my taxes I don’t understand why they are still holding them

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  15. Did my granddaughters taxes on February 2, wasn’t even 21 days got the topic 152. Still sitting at that today. She needs her refund, can’t get through to anyone at IRS. So frustrating.

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  16. Filed ourself online thru H & Block, direct deposit. Very simple. e-file sent Feb.14, It’s accepted on Feb.15.
    Checked irs2go Feb.20 said same, processing delayed …code 152.
    Contacted H &R Block. Every where they researched say same thing. They even called their # for irs with no answer… We were told to give it to April 1st, if no refund then call them back…

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  17. Yes I filed my taxes on February 04,2022 and my processing has been readin code 152 since mid February. How long is it really taking IRS to send refunds. I already know about standard processing times. The IRS isn’t operating by that at this point we need truthful answers

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  18. I did my taxes on January 31 2022. It’s going on way past 30 days it’s been 42 days to be exact. All I see when I check the IRS site is the topic 152 message. Honestly if I would’ve known claiming the EITC credit would’ve made the wait so long I would’ve just did my taxes regular. It’s funny how when you owe the IRS they have 0 problems taking money from you, but when they owe us it’s always some kind of problem goin on.

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    • Absolutely, This makes no sense IRS should have had our refunds in our accounts by now…we have no control over this situation that’s what’s frustrating me and my wife at this point. Prayers up

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    • Thats exactly what i said. They waste no time penalizing and taking your money away but this bs is unacceptable. Im still waiting since february with the same topic 152 on the app

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  19. I have bars up now they gone i did my taxes on the 8 of last month 2022 it just shows that its still processing. Will I get something in the mail or will I still get my refund on my card

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  20. I filed Jan 28th and for three weeks my return has said sorry delayed check topic 152 so on so fourth it’s been almost a month and a half now what does this mean and what should I do I can’t get any answers out of anyone on the phone with its and the department. I need to talk to just keeps saying sorry do to extremely high call volume we can’t take your call at this time

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    • I’m going through the same thing. It’s been 40 days since I filed electronically with direct deposit. After waiting for 2 hrs on hold with the irs I finally got a live agent that had no clue what was taking so long and why it’s stuck on processing and code 152. Told me to check where’s my refund again on April 7 and if it hasn’t changed to call back. Frustrating!!!

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  21. My tax refund says exceeded limit and when I check again this morning, it says still being processed with no tax topic and I can see my expected tax amount, it’s 15 days today please should I panic?

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    • It gives that message when you have check WMR website. just check back tomorrow. I am manifesting everyone who have commented under this post, will receive their refund March 16th manifesting this in the name of ELOHEEM I’ve done some research notice the rumors are IRS will be sending DD to accounts for those who failed anywhere between 1/31 & 2/13

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  22. This means the irs is still looking at your return just gotta be patient and wait and pray that we get it soon

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  23. I to received topic 152 very simple return with only credits I qualified for .it has been 16 days nit even 21 days?

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    • Not necessarily an issue at this stage as IRS is still processing/reviewing your return. If after 30 days, may be less optimistic as could be under further reviews. Not much you can do till then though.

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  24. If I made a mistake on my refund please let me know because I’m not really sure if I did it right. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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    • I hear ya! I did my taxes on hrblock.com for the first time, as I worked for HR Block for a few years before that. I was accepted on Mar 1 and then it said pending, and then after around 21 days got the Code 152 and as of today it’s saying the same thing. Went last week over to HR Block to have them check out my return to see if I possibly did something wrong and was willing to amend it if so, but she said everything looked fine…so not sure what’s going on. Last year the IRS did an audit on my simple return and now this. Very frustrating! Hope you have found answers by now.

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