Will H&R Block, TurboTax and Other Online Tax Software Providers Help With IRS Refund Delays?

On one of my more popular articles answering the question, “Where is my refund? ” I got the following representative comments which was the genesis of the title of this post. So I thought I would take some time here to address the obligations of these online tax providers when it comes to dealing with delays in receiving their refund. And suggest a better way.

Matthew – I’ve received two notices in the mail, both saying that my return was under review. The last on I received on March 24th which said that the review would be completed by May 4th. Okay, so here we are 8 months later and I still haven’t received mine. I’ve tried calling the IRS countless times, but I can never seem to get through to anyone. I often here a previously recorded message that says no one is available to take my call. This is a HUGE pain in the ass. Especially since now the online “where’s my refund” tool no longer even finds my return. I’ve decided to go to H&R Block tomorrow with the hopes that they will be able to help me locate my missing return. I’m more than frustrated at this point. If I owed the IRS the amount of money they owe me right now, they’d be all over me about it, hounding me, or garnishing my wages. Sickening.

REPLY – Courtney : Did H&R Block help you? I have the same issue.

REPLY – Victoria Macias : Contact your local text advocate for help. We spent months with our advocate helping us. They can get information that we cannot get and they can put a rush on things. Our problem was that the company my husband worked for wouldn’t verify his employment without his consent. Of course no one told us that the IRS and the employer were not getting anywhere and that they needed his consent. I really hope this will help you all.

REPLY – Autumn: H&R Block, will do absolutely NOTHING to help you. I know this from EXPERIENCING the same thing, that all of you, on this website have.
I spent over “3 & 1/2” weeks on the phone, with the IRS… all while H&R Block claimed they would do NOTHING, to help me.

Brian – mine was accepted February also said it was deposited in my account on February 22nd. Its now October 19 and still haven’t received my return. October 15th was the last day for the IRS to do anything about it now. guess I have to wait till next year now. I will never use turbo tax again that’s for sure will pay the extra money to have a professional take care of my taxes, glad I wasn’t depending on my tax return. but it would have been nice to receive it

Victoria – My husband and I filed through H&R Block on February 17th. We still haven’t received state taxes return or fed tax return. March 3rd, we received a letter saying to wait an extra 60 days. Sunday will be May 3rd. I have no idea why we haven’t gotten ANYTHING. It has really screwed us financially.

Teisha – Hi I also didn’t receive my fed refund and I did mines with h&r block on feb 2 and my boyfriend did his the same time and got his fed and state I just got my state and now I hear i have to wait until 12 weeks is that true anyone knows what’s going on are they picking and chosen who to send refund too I never ever had this problem before what is taking so long

Despite some of the understandably frustrated comments above from folks wanting their refunds, I do support and endorse online tax filing. After all 90%+ of Americans file their taxes this way and both TurboTax and H&R block are the biggest and most reputable providers in this space.

But you have to remember they are not the IRS (they are for profit companies) and are only offering the guarantee of an accurate tax filing service based on the information you provide them. They have limited scope if the IRS has issues with the information you provided in your return and around IRS internal procedures around the processing of your refund. In fact when it comes to your refund, they have the same information you do.

The IRS has a bunch of manual and automated checks for tax returns, which they do not share other than the obvious ones like providing accurate information, that can flag your return even if you think all is okay. So while you should contact TurboTax and H&R block with any questions, it is much better to contact the IRS or a tax advocate with specific questions around your refund. In fact most providers will direct you towards IRS’ Where is my Refund (WMR) tool to get the latest and most accurate status of your refund.

See these comments which sums up things nicely on why contacting the IRS directly or a tax advocate is the best route to try and deal with refund delay questions:

Renee : I filed via Turbo Tax and was accepted Feb 19th and on the 20th I received an Auto call stating my Healthcare.gov was off and to wait for the paper. My WMR status went into “Your refund is still processing” stage after March 6th. I called Healthcare.gov and was told that my health insurance was only off by $1 so I didn’t have to amend my taxes.. On March 16th I contact the Tax Advocate and she was able to look deeper because my Tax Transcripts show N/A as if I never filed. 

The Tax Advocate said that IRS did not accept my Taxes until March 4th due to system processing issues.. Everyone has to count 40 days from the time it was accepted. Although my healthcare form was only for a $1 difference, there were many that were a lot larger than $1

So, It looks like I have to count 40 Days from the REAL IRS Acceptance Date of March 4th.. This is 13 days after Turbo Tax stated that my taxes were accepted. I don’t think this is Turbo Taxes fault. I’m grateful to pay $131 for Premium Insurance instead of the $489 monthly premium that was increasing through BCBS.. I even have the same Account with Blue Cross…So.. there you have it.. if it was accepted March 1st.. Count 13 days.. That’s when its really accepted.. then count 40 additional days before your refund or taxes move forward hope this helps”

Charisma – Filed through TurboTax on February 2. Accepted Feb 2..Bars went missing a few days later and status said that my refund was still being processed and a date would be provided. Called IRS on Feb 27. Had to go through verifying my identity. Was told that it would take 6-8 weeks to process and be received. Called IRS on the 16th of March. Was told that refund was reviewed on March 11 and would take an additional 9 weeks. Checked WMR (Where is My Refund) On March 19, status says that refund has been accepted and is now being reviewed. Checked WMR on March 21.. Refund is going to be direct deposited on March 25.

Mary Krizan – We filed our return before Apr deadline electronically through TurboTax. Our state tax refund arrived promptly. Still haven’t received anything from the fed. gov. When I check through IRS website, it tells me it’s still being processed. Finally today I talked directly to a representative (after 40 min. wait) and he said he would file a referral to tell them to release the refund. If I don’t receive the refund by 9-18, I get to try for help through a taxpayer advocate. I hope this won’t be necessary! When calling 1-800-829-1040, after choosing your language preference, choose option 2 (not 1!). Then keep choosing other options until the last one will connect you to a live representative!

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