The IRS has updated its mission-critical function stats as of June 3, 2022:
Mail is being opened within normal timeframes. All paper and electronic individual refund returns received prior to April 2021 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review.
As of May 20, the IRS inventory was 9.8 million unprocessed individual returns including those received before 2022 and new tax year 2021 returns. Of these, 2 million returns require error correction or special handling and 7.8 million are paper returns in the review pile. Special handling cases are taking 21-120 days. The IRS will send explanation letters for any corrections on the Recovery Rebate Credit, Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit. Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions.
How Long Taxpayer May Have to Wait
The IRS has processed all error-free returns received prior to October 2021 and they are manually reviewing the rest. They reroute returns and correspondence to sites with more available staff. Again, errors in the Recovery Rebate Credit and Child Tax Credit will cause delay or if missing information or flagged for identity theft or fraud. The resolution of these issues is taking 90-120 days.
What Taxpayer Should Do
Taxpayers can check Where's my refund? or their online account. No further action is needed if an electronic return was acknowledged. For paper returns, if Where’s my refund? status shows received, processing or reviewing, the return may be under review. Do not file a second tax return.
Status of Processing Form 1040-X, Amended Individual Tax Return
As of May 21, there were 2.1 million unprocessed Forms 1040-X with a backlog of 20+ weeks. Taxpayers should continue to check Where's My Amended Return? for the most up to date processing status available.
Status of Unemployment Compensation Exclusion Corrections
The IRS is still reviewing tax year 2020 returns and processing corrections for taxpayers who paid taxes on unemployment compensation, to exclude the compensation from income if eligible. More than 11.9 million refunds totaling $14.6 billion have been issued. Some taxpayers will receive refunds, while others will have the overpayment applied to taxes due or other debts. Affected taxpayers should receive a corrections letter, generally within 30 days from when the corrections were completed. See the 2020 Unemployment Compensation Exclusion FAQs.
Status of Processing Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
As of May 25, inventory was at 3.7 million unprocessed Forms 941 and about 241,000 unprocessed Forms 941X. Some of the 941Xs cannot be processed until the related 941s go through. While not all these returns involve a COVID credit, trained COVID-credit staff in Cincinnati and Ogden are working them.