Your 2022 Tax Return is Not Processed – Will My 2023 Refund Be Delayed?

Millions of tax filers are anxiously waiting for their 2022 tax return to be processed and refund to be paid.

So it can be disappointing and stressful to see the following message when they log into their IRS account saying their tax return has not yet been processed, despite seeing many folks online claiming they have already gotten their refund.

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.

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.

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4 thoughts on “Your 2022 Tax Return is Not Processed – Will My 2023 Refund Be Delayed?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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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