IRS experiencing major backlog delays on tax refunds

LEVITTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A major backlog at the IRS is affecting when people receive their refunds. The government agency said it had made significant progress in just the last month, but the backlog is still tremendous.

According to the latest IRS figures, there are 16.2-million unprocessed returns if you include current year taxes.

"It's been two months," said Patricia Survis.

Survis of Levittown, Bucks County, said she e-filed her family members' tax returns in February. But Uncle Sam still owes her grandson a refund of about $7,000.

"If you click on 'Where's My Refund,' it is still saying that his refund is in process," she said. "You can't even talk to anybody. You can't get through. You can't get answers."

Survis says the process is frustrating because her and her granddaughter are out of work, and they just had a baby born into the family on April 15. Also, they have a 3-year-old.

U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester and 13 other House members call for an investigation, particularly into the backlog of paper returns.

In a letter stating: "The IRS currently has a backlog of 5.5 million paper returns received in 2020, in addition to 8.7 million paper returns received by the IRS so far this year."

"We're asking them questions about staffing, shortages, everything from not just COVID, but in general, and what they're going to do to make sure that we move forward and get people the help and the support that they need," said Blunt Rochester.

The IRS says the majority of 2019 returns have now been processed and it is currently processing returns it received over the summer and fall of 2020. It also said returns are processed in the order received.

The IRS says if you haven't received your refund, do not file a second tax return.

The agency is pointing people only to its online tool to check their refund status.

"I would encourage them to reach out to their congressional offices," said Rochester. "We have to make sure that they are accessible to all."

Experts say the quickest way if you haven't filed yet is to e-file and select direct deposit.

But again, unfortunately, do not expect to get your refund as fast as you usually do.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.