Economic impact payments became a focal point for many Americans throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but some people may now be realizing they still have not yet received their 2019 tax refund from the IRS.
In a statement issued this week, the tax agency said certain services – including processing paper returns – are “extremely limited or suspended until further notice” in compliance with the coronavirus-related orders of local health authorities.
The agency noted that while it is not currently processing paper returns, it is working on electronic returns, issuing direct deposit refunds and accepting electronic payments. It urged all taxpayers to file electronically, if possible.
If you have already filed a paper return, however, do not file a second return electronically. Your paper return will be processed at a later date.
The Trump administration extended this year’s tax deadline to July 15 due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the IRS was tasked with issuing the economic impact payments not only during tax season but also at a time when its resources – including both funding and staffing – are on the decline.
The agency has begun recalling staffers to resume some operations. It is unclear when it will begin processing paper returns again.
As of the end of May, the IRS had received more than 133.8 million tax returns. However, it had only processed 121.1 million. So far, the agency has issued 90.5 million refunds, with an average value of $2,770.