Understanding the “Pending” Status of Your Tax Return: What It Means and How Long It Can Take

After submitting your tax return, you may encounter the “pending” status, indicating that your return is in the process of being reviewed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This comprehensive guide will delve into the meaning of the pending status, its duration, and what to do if your return remains in this status for an extended period.

What Does “Pending” Mean?

When your tax return is in pending status, it means that the IRS has received your return but has not yet processed it. Your return will remain in pending status until the IRS has completed its review and either accepts or rejects it.

How Long Does “Pending” Usually Take?

Generally, e-filed returns are processed within 24-48 hours. However, during peak tax season, the IRS may experience delays, resulting in longer processing times. Additionally, if your return is selected for further review, it may take several weeks or even months to be processed.

Reasons for a Pending Status

Your tax return may be placed in pending status for various reasons, including:

  • High volume of returns: During tax season, the IRS receives a large number of returns, which can lead to delays in processing.
  • Errors or missing information: If your return contains errors or missing information, the IRS may need to review it manually, which can take longer.
  • Complex tax situations: Returns involving complex tax issues, such as business income or deductions, may require additional review.
  • Identity verification: The IRS may need to verify your identity before processing your return, especially if you have recently filed a fraudulent return or have a history of tax issues.
  • Additional review: TurboTax may conduct an additional review of your return to ensure its accuracy and prevent potential rejection by the IRS.

What to Do If Your Return Is Pending

If your return remains in pending status for an extended period, you can take the following steps:

  • Check the IRS website: Visit the IRS website to track the status of your return. You can use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to obtain updates.
  • Contact the IRS: If your return has been pending for more than 21 days, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to inquire about its status.
  • Contact TurboTax: If you filed your return through TurboTax, you can contact their support team for assistance. They may be able to provide additional information or help resolve any issues that may be causing the delay.

Understanding the pending status of your tax return is crucial for managing your tax obligations and planning your finances. While most returns are processed within a few days, certain factors can lead to delays. By following the steps outlined above, you can monitor the status of your return and take appropriate action if it remains pending for an extended period.

IRS Tax Refund Update – Delays and Smaller Refunds

How long do e-filed taxes stay pending?

After that, e-filed returns generally sit in pending status for 24–48 hours before being either accepted or rejected. Even if you filed your federal and state returns at the same time, your state may not start processing it at the same time as the IRS.

How long does it take to get a tax refund?

Four weeks after mailing a paper return. Taxpayers should note that the IRS updates the tool once a day, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check more often. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get a refund is by filing electronically and using direct deposit. Many different factors may affect the timing of refund delivery:

How long can a tax refund be delayed?

A tax refund could be delayed weeks or even months in some cases. The length of the delay may depend on how backed up the IRS is on processing tax returns, whether you turn around requested documentation quickly, and whether you need to file an amended return. Why are tax refunds delayed?

What does pending mean on a tax return?

What does Pending mean? Pending means that your e-filed return is on its way and that the government hasn’t accepted or rejected it yet. If you e-filed your return before the IRS starts processing returns this year, it’ll stay in pending status until then.

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