Frozen Returns: If You Made an Extension Payment on May 17th And Haven’t Received Your Refund….

Yesterday, a client of mine called asking about her 2020 tax refund.  I assumed she was one of the unlucky individuals whose return fell out of IRS processing and is stuck waiting to be reviewed.  However, she told me that her return didn’t even show in the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund.”   I confirmed that–and that didn’t make any sense; her return was filed on September 30th and accepted that day.

I called the IRS and discovered another reason some haven’t received their refunds.  If you made an extension payment on exactly May 17, 2021 (the last day to file a 2020 extension) and are receiving a refund, your return may have been “frozen” by the IRS computer system.  (I had my second such case today.)  I don’t know how extensive this issue is, but the representative I spoke to yesterday told me that he had dealt with “many” such cases.

Hopefully, someone at the IRS is going through frozen returns to manually unfreeze the returns without taxpayers having to call the IRS.  But if you made an extension payment on May 17, 2021 and have filed your return and have not received your refund, check IRS’s “Where’s My Refund.”  If no status at all is shown (the return does not show as still being processed), you or your representative needs to call the IRS and have the return “unfrozen.”


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