Will My IRS Tax Transcript Help Me Find Out When I’ll Get My Refund and What Does it Mean When transcript says N/A?

Reviewing their free IRS account tax transcript is a technique a lot of folks attempt to use to get an update on their tax return processing and refund status; particularly if they are not getting information (or see no bars) from the IRS WMR tool or IRS2Go app.

While the official line is that tax transcripts will not help you find out how much or when you will get your refund for the current tax year, there is some compelling evidence from recent tax seasons that this is not always the case.

Especially if you have/are faced long delays (e.g. due to PATH act) and are not able to get refund information via the standard channels.

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Once available on your IRS accounts, tax transcripts may actually be a great source of information around updates regarding your refund and potential processing delays beyond 21 days, due to other payments for example.

By using the transcript transaction codes, cycle codes and descriptions you can get a lot of information that WMR/IRS2Go or even an IRS agent does not provide you.

Just be aware that your tax transcript does update regularly during tax season, so should using in conjunction with the WMR/IRS2Go refund trackers in addition to any official correspondence or updates.

An example of using your tax transcript to get IRS payment information was provided by some readers around their economic impact payments (stimulus checks) who used their (free) tax transcript to get the latest status of their stimulus payments, in particular their often delayed or missing dependent stimulus payments which they had to claim when filing and get paid via their tax refund.

Getting your refund status via your IRS Tax Transcript

While using the official IRS’ Where is My Refund (WMR) tool, Get My Payment tool (GMP) or Child tax credit portal (CTC) is the best way to get the status of your official government payments, it only provides limited information around current processing and payments.

On the other hand your IRS tax transcript, which can take a while to get the latest updates, does provide a lot more information via the various tax codes in the transaction details section.

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, including all the surrounding transactions. Tax Code 766 relate to refundable tax credits, while code 846 means the refund was issued/

IRS Tax Transcript to get Refund and Stimulus Payment Status

So you can now see getting your latest free tax transcript is a good idea because it can give you some more information and clues about when you could be getting your refund.

You can see more in this video covering IRS transcripts and using them to get insight into your refund or stimulus check payments. Also see this YouTube video on how to use the transcript transaction codes and cycle dates to get an insight into your return processing and refund dates

Does Transcript N/A Mean the IRS Has Not Received or Processed My Tax Return?

Many tax filers have reported seeing an N/A (Not Available) when trying to pull their current year’s tax transcript. This is despite them having filed a return several days or weeks earlier.

So naturally this creates stress around their return/refund and uncertainty on if the IRS has received or why they are not processing their tax filing.

Seeing an “N/A” though is mainly due to the IRS processing backlog and PATH restrictions, especially during tax season. It happens EVERY year, especially in February and March.

N/A message for your transcript
N/A message for your transcript

It essentially means that the IRS systems have not loaded your return into the IRS master file for processing, so no tax transcript updates have been generated for the current tax season. Once your return is assigned a processing batch (per cycle code) your transcript will populate and be available over night and a refund direct deposit date if processing is normal.

If your return has errors or adjustments (e.g code 570 or TC 898 on your transcript) processing can take longer. But those who have zero errors, have this situation, sit tight. Nothing is wrong and your return is in queue for processing. The “N/A” will soon disappear and you will be able to download your tax transcript.

What Your IRS Transcript Can Tell You About Refund Delays

If you can view your  transcript online you will find out exactly why you are under review by the tax 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. Tax 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 download and view the account transcript and the return transcript; that means the IRS has completed initial processing; but doesn’t mean the IRS has completed the process and your refund can still be held up.

You can use your transcript to 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.

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32 thoughts on “Will My IRS Tax Transcript Help Me Find Out When I’ll Get My Refund and What Does it Mean When transcript says N/A?”

  1. I filled my taxes at the end of January 2022 for last year’s taxes and because my letter for the child taxes credit said one thing and online it says it was more they are pretty much making me pay back that money I don’t see how they can do that but two months went by and I didn’t hear anything from them then I received a letter after letter saying they needed 60 more days and after me calling them and talking to them and not getting anywheres with them I received a letter in the beginning of July won’t me to verify my identity and Im still waiting they never not one time told me that I needed to verify my identity or anything

    Reply
    • Due to the backlog there are delays in notifying you. It’s why your transcript is important to understand what is going on or get a sort of a clue as to why the delay. At his point calling a tax advocate may be your only option. The bad part of that you can no longer communicate with IRS for yourself.. the good part about that is you won’t be waiting in vain for your answers or solutions. If your case qualifies for hardship and you can provide proof advocates generally expedite it. All information is on its website. Free transcripts, Free advocates. Don’t delay it took me six months of waiting for my taxes before I contacted one by emergency. Within 14 Working days I received a 846 code on my transcript. Meaning my taxes could come in dd within a week.

      Reply
  2. I’ve had 3 letters saying to give them 60 days called yesterday was on hold 4 hours to be told they actually have 120 days and that it could be up to Sep 29, 2022 till I hear something. I mean they might as well just keep holding my refund to go with the following year. It’s ridiculous I have a 18 month old baby and a 3 year old grand baby. So I’m struggling just like the rest. I mean I hear they will pay us interest but they can keep that just give me my refund. And have to pay taxes on the interest.

    Reply
    • I haven’t received my taxes in 2 years. 2019 STILL PROCESSING. 2020 STILL PROCESSING. IM AFRAID TO FILE THIS YEAR IDK WTF TO DO. EASE TELL ME WTF TAKES TWO YRS

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      • IRS is totally dysfunctional. My 2020 return is still processing but they generated a faulty transcript in which they did not enter the taxes withheld. So instead of a large refund I got a CP14 notice with a huge tax bill. I could download a transcript and see the errors they made. I sent a letter explaining their mistake. They did not bother to read it. More collection notices arrived with threats of asset seizures. After untold hours trying to call their dysfunctional offices, I finally contacted an agent who at first denied any problem. I walked her through the transcript and my return and showed her the missing withholdings. She admitted there was a keying error and promised to send collection notices but she had no authority to correct the mistake or ask the appropriate department to correct the mistake. Finally I made contact with another agent who admitted the error and opened my previous responses. The idiot Instructed to me to file an amended return to correct their mistake.
        After I filed my next year return of 2021, they generated another faulty transcript based on faulty 2020 transcript with credit for 2021 refund. Now more collection notices have started coming in whereas they owe me two refunds for the two tax years.
        I read that the IRS is now a for profit private organization. I guess that explains why the mediocre service has turned into horrible nightmare. PROFITS!!!

        Reply
    • This is for last year’s tax return still haven’t received them. When will I receive my tax return

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    • I filed March 20 and verified my ID online 2 weeks ago and my wmr says still being processed and my transcript says N/A

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      • Did u ever get it refund. I Id verify on march 28 2022 Nd still nothing. It’s been over 9 weeks Nd transcript say na

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  3. I filed 04/03 received notification that it was accepted the very same day, its now June 25th and still waiting, WMR says your refund still processing, no bars at all, i tried checking my transcript and I see the 2020 there but with an * and it says that i requested a non-filer verification letter, what does that mean?? I have always filed, i tried calling but you can never get thru. Head of household with dependents, EIC.

    Reply
    • Yep. My 25 year old single son, no dependents; no itemized deductions; straight forward 1040 return. He on-field it on Feb. 19, 2021 and it was accepted the same day. He has called and the read the message he can read himself on their wonderful worthless WMR tool – verbatim. They told him they don’t need him to verify his identity, there is not a problem with his return, they were of ZERO help with their supposed research of his refund status. We know they have it, but his transcripts don’t show it at all. Like he never filed them. I have no idea why they are blowing smoke up the country’s behinds like all is normal and on track and none of us are sitting in limbo waiting for them to get our money back to us at their leisure 6 months down the road…by God, we best not be late for anything for them!

      Reply
  4. I tried calling the phone number to get a transcript of my 1040 form 2019 machine no good I need a live person to order my transcript .I have 2addresses . I am frustrated with IRS they give you the run around. I was lucky to order my transcript by phone for IT 201 .that’s service.

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  5. I filed at the end of Jan. Got a notice stating it was under review and no action is needed at this time.. to top it off since I have a code of 570 I still haven’t gotten my stimulus. I’m suppose to get almost $5,000. I don’t owe anything. So why are they holding my stimulus?? I thought that was to help everyone get back on their feet..I just keep falling in debt. I was the sole provider last year to my daughter and her new baby. Which she gets no child support..don’t get me started on that issue. So I claimed both because she never worked that whole year and was going to college. I don’t understand this government. You would think you would send it out to the lower income first. Anyways, I called my governor, and emailed, I called the White House, and I’ve emailed anyone I thought that could help. No reply. IRS said I had to wait another 60 days. Times up!! It’s been since the end of Jan. Unemployment is growing so you would think they would hire people to train so they could get ahead of the game. Thanks for letting me vent.. good luck all.

    Reply
  6. I have my tax transcript from this year. But on the WMR site it says that I may have an offset. Which I found out that I do and the date that it was to taken from me was on Feb 26th. But on my WMR no bars have changed I am still on the 2nd bar with Refund approved and the message. But when I pulled up my transcript it say Feb 26th refund sent but no other codes for payment to the offset company. What does this mean and the date that I have on WMR to receive anything if anything is on March 2nd but the refund has been issued with no other code showing it was taken.

    Reply
      • They did for students loans I know forsure but I still filed injured spouse with my taxes. I show 766 and 570 on my transcript. Its only been 7 days sense K filed electronically. I was old 570 can mean still processing.

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  7. Angela I was told no. WMR will not update without your transcript updating to 846 code first. I asked the same question on a IRS fb group.

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  8. I’m still waiting. Filed Feb 6 2019, it’s April 15th….on my tax transcript is shows refund amount due to be deposited on 4/15/19 but yet here we are and no refund. So I’m trying to figure out if it’s going to be deposited later today or if I fell through some cracks or holes somewhere because I haven’t received a letter. This is driving me crazy. I want my money. I paid for HR block to do my taxes so wth could of gone wrong???

    Reply
    • After “Where’s My Refund” finally updated to having received and processing my return it took about a week for my transcripts to update.

      Reply
  9. Hi everyone it is me again and like I said before it is now May 9th and still no refund date and guest what they are still reviewing mind and when I call them they said that I have to wait another 60days in order for them to complete it. I ask them was it any information that they were still looking for and she told me that she didn’t know and that she had put in a request for them to send me what they needed. She said that they have 60days to let me know what the information is. I just don’t know what is taking so long. Is anyone else having the same problem that I am having please let me know. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi I’m right there with you. I filed in February and waited the allotted 21 days. That’s when I got the first I have to wait 60 days. So I called back after that and they told me it was still under review. I haven’t changed a thing in all these years yet I still have no date. Just that it’s processing. I mean it’s going on in the middle of June. This is ridiculous.

      Reply
  10. I can order my transcript and it say that I have the code 570 and 971 and it say that addition account action is pending and notice issue which has 2/16/18 and $0.00 on it and the IRS say to wait until the 4th of this month which will be this Friday to see will my refund will be in the bank. I have no date as of Monday the 30th of April they say when I call them that they do not need any information from me and that my I will get my refund when they finish the review. Look now they have been reviewing my refund every sense Jan of this year so it has been about 105 days or from Jan 7/18 until April 4/18 like I say Friday the 4th and I just do not understand what they are looking for, they also told me that if they need any information they would contact the third party so I am still lost, if anyone has any answer or the same problem let me know please. Need help in figure things out. Thank’s

    Reply
    • I am in a similar situation and am wondering if you filed for missing stimulus money you should have received but didn’t? That would be on line 30 of the return you filed.
      I was accepted 2/13 and my transcripts had been N/A up until this past Friday. I now have the 971 and 570 codes. I found out that it’s because they reduced my refund by $1800 the exact amount I am owed for missing stimulus payments that were never received so I submitted them in my tax return (as instructed) only to now find out that you cannot do that unless you previously had traces done through the IRS on those missing payments. I did not have official traces done on them as I had no idea I had to…apparently neither did my accountant or millions of others because anyone that did claim those missing payments on their taxes without having the trace done prior ended up going through this crazy long extended processing mess and then when they do finally get their transcripts they will see those codes along with a reduction in the payment you originally were supposed to receive. The only “silver lining” I hear is that the IRS corrects this error themselves and the next time your transcripts update you will see new codes…one indicating that the error has been corrected and the other releasing your refund (minus the stimulus money you’re owed) and finally you will have a DDD.
      They say ignore the date next to the 971 and 570 codes because at that point you can get your refund at any time. Most seem to be about a week later they get the deposit date at least. Unfortunately some end up waiting the entire “allowed” 60 days that the IRS is allotted to complete the process and release the refund but that seems to be happening the minority of people with this issue. (Knock on wood) lol
      After receiving your new “lesser” amount you call the IRS and have them look in to your stimulus payments that you did not receive and they will reissue those separately from your refund.
      Yes…that’s a whole new waiting process…unless you are one of the lucky ones who happened to receive those missing checks in the middle of all this mess.
      Oh and just FYI they did not start reviewing returns until mid February this year…even if you filed in January. The date was pushed back.

      Reply
  11. The assertions made in this article SOUND good, but aren’t at all true.
    I’ve personally had almost ALL of the bullet items listed as “will surely FLAG your return”, I’ve had one, two, or even three simultaneously (New changes, Address change, education credit, I mean who isn’t using an education credit and moving a lot these days??) every year for the past 5 years.

    Not once has my refund been delayed more than the standard 7-10 direct deposit days.

    Reply
    • I love this comment! So true. Who isnt claiming educational credit and moving lmao!!!! So true. And yes, several years myself.

      Reply
    • you know what thats a stupid comment that you made .how do I know your telling the truth or your the lucky one if it never to you why are on this page ?

      Reply

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