If you haven’t gotten your 2020 tax refund, you are in good company.
At the end of the 2021 filing season in May, the IRS had a backlog of 35 million tax returns that still needed to be manually processed, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Taxpayer Advocate, a government watchdog.
The backlog includes about 16.8 million paper tax returns, some 15.8 million returns suspended for further review and 2.7 million amended returns. The backlog is nearly three times larger than it was in 2020, and a fourfold increase from 2019.
More from Invest in You:
Before you start post-pandemic spending, make these money moves
7 ways to save money on travel this summer
As ‘buy now, pay later’ apps become more popular, be cautious
The coronavirus pandemic and a shutdown to curb the spread of the disease is mostly to blame for the pileup, according to the report. Still, long wait times for refunds may be particularly harmful this year, especially for low-income Americans eligible for certain credits or those still waiting on stimulus checks.
”For taxpayers who can afford to wait, the best advice is to be patient and give the IRS time to work through its processing backlog,” wrote Erin Collins, the National Taxpayer Advocate, in her report to Congress.? “But particularly for low-income taxpayers and small businesses operating on the margin, refund delays can impose significant financial hardships.”