IRS Processing Delays 2024 – Track status online at

Anticipation for 2024 tax refunds is met with concerns about delays. Despite the IRS aiming for a 21-day turnaround post e-filing, various factors could extend processing times, causing individuals to face prolonged waits for their refunds during the current tax season.

IRS Processing Delays 2024

The 2024 tax season is officially underway, and while the IRS is working diligently to process returns, some taxpayers may encounter delays. 

While most refunds for electronically filed returns with direct deposit are still expected to be issued within 21 days, several factors can contribute to longer processing times. It’s crucial to understand these causes and potential solutions to avoid unnecessary worry.

IRS Refund Delays 2024

The 2024 tax season might come with some delays for certain taxpayers. Here are some of the key reasons for the delays in refund processing: 

Backlog from Previous Years:

  • The IRS continues to struggle with a backlog of unprocessed returns accumulated during the pandemic years due to staffing shortages. 
  • This creates a ripple effect, impacting processing efficiency in 2024.

Errors or Incomplete Information:

  • Inaccurate entries: Errors like typos, mismatched social security numbers, or inconsistencies between your return and third-party information can trigger delays for further review.
  • Missing forms: Incomplete returns lacking necessary forms or documentation stall processing until the IRS receives the missing pieces.

Paper Returns:

  • While still accepted, paper returns generally take longer to process compared to electronic filing. 
  • This is due to the manual data entry and verification involved, adding to the processing time.

Complex Tax Situations:

  • Returns with intricate circumstances, involving specific credits, deductions, or business income, often require extra scrutiny from the IRS. 
  • This additional analysis can lead to delays in processing.

Identity Theft and Fraud:

  • To combat rising incidents of tax fraud attempts, the IRS may scrutinise returns more closely. 
  • This increased level of scrutiny, while necessary, can potentially delay processing times.

IRS Processing Delays 2024

Checking Your IRS Refund Status

The IRS offers a convenient online tool called “Where’s My Refund?” to track the progress of your tax refund. This guide will walk you through the 

You’ll need the following information readily available:

  • Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Filing status (Single, Married Filing Jointly, etc.)
  • Exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund


  • Go to
  • In the top right corner of the website, hover over the “Tools” tab and select “Where’s My Refund?” from the dropdown menu.
  • On the “Where’s My Refund?” page, enter your SSN or ITIN in the first field.
  • Select your filing status: Choose your filing status from the dropdown menu in the second field.
  • Enter the exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund in the third field. This information can be found on your tax return or any documentation you received from your tax preparer.
  • Once you’ve entered all the required information, click the “Submit” button.
  • The tool will display the status of your refund, including an estimated timeframe for when you can expect to receive it. Here are some possible messages you might see:
    • “Your return is still being processed. We expect to update your status within 24 hours.”
    • “Approved. Your refund has been approved and will be sent to your bank account by March 1st, 2024.

What to do if your refund is delayed?

If your refund seems to be delayed, here are some steps you can take to understand the situation and potentially expedite the process:

Wait for the Standard Processing Time:

  • Remember, even after filing electronically, it typically takes 21 days for the IRS to process the refund and send it to your bank account.
  • If you filed a paper return, expect a longer wait time, potentially up to 6 weeks.
  • Avoid contacting the IRS unless your refund falls outside these standard processing times.

Review Your Filing for Errors:

  • Double-check your return for any errors or inconsistencies, such as typos, mismatched social security numbers, or discrepancies with information received from employers or banks. These can delay processing.

Check for IRS Notices:

  • The IRS might send you a notice if they need more information or clarification on your return. This notice will explain the issue and provide instructions on how to respond.

Contact the IRS:

  • After waiting beyond the standard processing time and addressing potential issues, you can contact the IRS for further assistance.
  • Options for contacting the IRS:
    • Call the IRS Hotline: 1-800-829-1040 (be prepared for wait times).
    • Visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC): You can schedule an appointment or walk-in for in-person assistance.
    • Contact your Tax Advocate: If you experience significant hardship due to the delay, you can request help from a Taxpayer Advocate by calling 1-877-777-4778.

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