Still Waiting For My Refund as Tax Return Is NOT Processed – What Now?

Millions of tax filers are anxiously waiting for their tax return to be processed and refund to be paid.

So it can be disappointing and stressful to see the following message when checking in regularly at the IRS Refund Status page and see the message, “Your tax return has not yet been processed.” Which means your refund is also delayed.

No Refund after 21 days - why is my tax return still being processed

This gets even more disheartening when you are expecting a large refund and you hear or read about many folks online claiming they have already gotten their refund soon after filing.

This article will discuss why this message pops up, what could happen next and options you have. Feel free to leave a comment if you need additional help or to share your story.

Your tax return is not processed
Your tax return is not processed

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I Filed Early So Why Am I Still Seeing This Message?

The IRS can take several days to process your return, which are impacted by backlogs and staffing. So unless its been more than 21 days since you filed and got confirmation from the IRS your return was received, there is not much you can do other than wait.

This message is basically saying the IRS is processing your return via one of their many systems and that until that is done you cannot do anything. This would even apply after 21 days.

If they need more information or ID/return verification checks they will send you a notice/letter for next steps.

The IRS and tax experts have said that there could be dozens of reasons when it comes to delays in processing tax returns that can then affect the timing of your refund. This includes incorrect or missing information, flagged for additional identity verification or needs further (manual) reviews.

Some are in your control before you file your return, but others may be purely do IRS processing delays that you cannot do much about. 

In addition to the above message you may also see the “N/A” message for your current year tax transcript.

How long will it take for my return to be processed?

Seeing this message in February and March is pretty common during tax season. As the messaging indicates the IRS refund processing schedule can take up to 21 days for most returns (6 weeks for paper filed returns).

It essentially means that the IRS systems have not loaded your return into the IRS master file for processing, so no tax transcript or Where is My refund updates have been generated for the current tax season filing.

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.

Also note that on the IRS’ Where is My Refund (WMR) tool your status may change or show with no bars when the IRS is reviewing your return. Instead, it code show specific instructions to follow or information on what the IRS is currently doing with your return.

If your return has errors or adjustments (e.g code 570 or TC 898 on your transcript) processing can take longer. This is even after the PATH act restrictions have lifted.

What Options Do I Have?

You can try and call the IRS’ automated refund hotline on 800-829-1954, but it your return is not processed you will get a message indicating as much. Also note you can only check your current year refund status via this method.

If its been more than 21 days or you need help urgently, you can also call the IRS general taxpayer line on 1-800-829-1040, though wait times to speak to a representative may be long.

Calling early or late in the day and on Tuesdays or Thursdays seems to increase the odds of getting through to someone.

Some people may also receive a formal IRS notice requesting specific information, which often contain a number to call that is different to the general one above. Don’t ignore these letters and use the numbers or methods listed on the letter to get your tax return processing moving.

Am I under audit?

If it has been more than 21 business days and you are still seeing messages that your return is still being processed, it is likely that your return has been pulled for some additional checks as the IRS systems could not automatically verify the information you provided.

While this does mean your refund payment will be delayed it does not mean you are necessarily facing an IRS audit.

A lot of times upon further review the IRS will automatically make adjustments – that could lower or increase your refund – from the information they have. A notice will be sent to you with details a process to appeal.

However, you should be prepared to respond to any further IRS inquiries (which will initially be sent via official mail) to ensure your refund is not further delayed.

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8 thoughts on “Still Waiting For My Refund as Tax Return Is NOT Processed – What Now?”

  1. I filed my taxes on February 1st,2024. It says it has not been processed. I’m so confused. I had Hand R Block as my preprayer. I have never had issues in the 30 plus years doing my taxes. This is a first. What should I do? It is now 2 months of waiting. No letters no update nothing.

  2. i recently filed jan 29 ,2023 i messed up my eitc IRS instructed i needed the EITC form i filled out the form sent it in they wanted blank spaces where I put zero then came the IRS letter saying I needed to prove my identity through after faxing then copies of all paperwork my transcript still reads no tax return filed…… i have two questions
    1. freetaxusa charged me for the 7.99 and the 31.99 tax pro help how come I will still get this deducted how is this my fault
    2. so what kinda time am I looking at before I can see the money?

  3. We have accepted your request for a 2022 Return Transcript. Please allow 5-10 days to receive it. The transcript will be sent to the address we have on file for you.
    If you need more than one copy of your transcript you are allowed to make copies for your personal records. I don’t really get this pls what’s next? And does it mean I’m approve to get my tax refund money. Or does this means I’m not qualified to get any money?

  4. Hi, could anybody help please…filed taxes on 3-15-23 and was accepted someday. Made a payment to my offset (back taxes) on 3-16-23. Trans account updated with payment, Saturday updated to an 810 with a date of 3-24-23, does this mean my refund was done on the 24th(?) will this delay it a col of weeks or months? I still have tax code 152 and my refund amount. My 21 days are up 4-5-23. I also heard they can not take an offset until my 21 days are up…again ty in advance for any and all help☺️

  5. I filed our return on January 25, 2023 and it is still just saying it is received and not working on it yet. It has been 8 weeks on March 15, 2023.

  6. I filed February 3. My PATH Act message was lifted on February 17 (updated overnight in system Feb 18). Expected refund on Feb. 23.


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