PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you're not among those who are waiting for money from the IRS, consider yourself lucky. Plenty of families are still waiting on child tax credit payments, stimulus checks, and even refunds from tax returns.
"There's no way to get any information on any of this," says Beth White from Turtle Creek who has been waiting for a refund since March of 2020.
White is trying to close out her mother's estate and filed the final tax return using a paper return in late March of last year, just as everything was shutting down due to the pandemic.
She checked IRS.gov not long after filing and, "It said it was received. Then after about a month or two, I went back and it said being processed."
In fact several times the website told her it was being processed but now "it tells you they can't give me any information."
"I want to know, is it lost?" So she tried calling the toll free IRS number, followed the prompts, "and then it says, Our call volume is so high that we cannot take your call today."
The IRS tells KDKA "'Tax returns are opened and processed in the order received. As the return is processed ... it may be subject to manual review delaying the processing if our systems detect a possible error."
And they detect plenty of problems. The IRS says this year through August 11th the IRS has corrected 11 million math errors which is up from a million during the same period in 2020.
Furthermore, as a way of explanation for the delayed or missing payments the IRS tells KDKA that as of September 1, it has received 161 million returns and still have over 10 million awaiting processing.
But that's for 2020 returns and Beth's is still waiting for her mom's 2019 refund. To add insult to injury, she has been forced to keep a checking account open because it is where the return will arrive. She says she is having to pay monthly fees on the account. And she can't close out the estate.
"I think if I owed money that'd be knocking on my door wanting to take my house out from underneath me or something."
The IRS is acknowleding the delays for some child tax credit payments, some stimulus checks and some refunds but it essentially says its doing the best it can. Officially it says refunds could take up to four months once the return is received and processed. Clearly White's issue has fallen through the cracks in the system.
If you are in a similar situation, reach out to your congressional representative or senator and ask their staff to inquire with the IRS on your behalf.
Members of Congress have access the general public does not, in part becuase the IRS depends on congressional approval for its funding.
White plans to take her case to Congressman Mike Doyle to help get some kind of answer about the $1,570 her mom is owed. "Are we not getting it. Are we getting it. Do I have to refile? It's off the radar right now. As long as I know it's coming, then I can just sit back and relax about it."
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