This article was last updated on March 1
Ordering your tax transcript is a technique a lot of folks use to get an update on their tax return processing and refund status if they are not getting information (or see no bars) from the IRS WMR tool. Of late many taxpayers struggling to get their status of their 2020 stimulus checks are also now turning to this method to get the latest status of their stimulus payments, in particular their often delayed or missing dependent stimulus payments.
Getting stimulus check status via transcript
While using the official IRS’ Get My Payment tool (GMP) is the best way to get the status of your stimulus/economic impact payments, it only provides limited information. On the other hand your transcript, which can take a while to get the latest updates included, does provide a lot more information. There is nothing illegal or wrong about this, but it can provide some surety if its been a while since you got an update or just need more information. And given it’s free, it worth getting for some potential peace of mind.
As you can see in the image below, its pretty clear to see the stimulus payments on the transcript. For people who don’t see their partial or missing stimulus payment, they will then have to claim it as a Recovery Rebate Credit for any remaining amount they’re eligible for by filing an online tax return.
While the IRS has categorically stated that being able to order your latest tax transcript does NOT mean that your refund has been processed or that a direct deposit payment is imminent, getting your latest free tax transcript (if available) may still be a good idea because it can give you some more information and clues. You can see more in this video covering IRS transcripts and using them to get insight into your refund or stimulus check payments.
If you can view your transcript online you will find out exactly why you are under review by the codes that will be listed. If your return is under review then that could be one reason your refund is delayed.
Common reasons returns are pulled and refunds are delayed include the following. You will see codes for these on your transcript
1. NEW changes this year compared to your last 3 years of filing? This will most definitely flag your return.
2. Address Change?
3. Did you file prior to receiving your W-2? (ex: did you use your last paycheck stub?) there could be a math error.
4. Educational Credit (e.g AOTC)
5. ID verification
6. Add/drop dependents?
7. Offset (owed back taxes for a prior year) which will not show up on the offset line.
8. Have you checked the offset line (800) 304-3107
9. Health Care Form (1095A) missing/not included
Reader question: I got to see my transcript. I’m not sure how to find the refund date. A few dates on there.
Response from another commenter: It will be the very last date on the ACCOUNT transcript….you will see 150, (806) withholding 766, 768, then the FINAL 846 Refund Issued. Could be other codes; you can google IRS Codes….if you want to know what they are. You don’t want to see freeze code 971, 570….or a letter has been sent…etc.,
If you can order and view the account transcript and the return transcript; that means that are done processing; but doesn’t mean the have completed the process and the refund can be held up. You can check to see if their were any holds, offsets or freezes on your account which could have delayed or taken your refund. If you can’t view your transcript online to see if there is any issues / codes that indicate something is wrong consider calling a tax advocate.