Karen Pickelsimer has been waiting since Feb. 20, 2020 for last year’s income tax refund that includes the $3,394 she is owed.
“I’ve never heard of anybody not getting their income tax back in 11-months,” Pickelsimer said. “This is the first time I’ve encountered such grief!”
The retired medical supervisor sent an email to News 6 after an IRS staffer told her it would take eight weeks for them to get to her tax return and another eight weeks before she would receive a refund.
“I asked about interest,” Pickelsimer wrote. " She said, ‘maybe, no decision has been made.’”
IRS spokesperson Alejandra Castro said the backlog is a result of office shut downs implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to assure them we are working fast to try and resolve this situation,” Castro said.
It turns out Karen Pickelsimer is one of millions of American taxpayers still waiting for a 2019 tax return.
The IRS confirmed that as of Jan. 29 there are 6.7 million individual tax returns in the “processing pipeline.”
IRS employees will have their hands full with the start of the 2021 tax season which officially started Feb. 12.
As for the wait for last year’s returns the IRS said it depends on where a person sent their tax return and where it is in the process.
“We are processing returns we received over the summer due to the extended July 15 tax filing due date and, in some cases, are processing tax returns dated as early as July 15, 2020,” Castro said.
To speed up the process the IRS said the agency is rerouting tax returns and taxpayer correspondence from locations that are behind to locations where more staff is available and taking other actions to minimize any delays.
“Tax returns are opened in the order received,” according to the IRS.
In the wake of fraudulent unemployment claims the IRS stressed a tax return may be delayed because it has a mistake, is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud.
“If we can fix it without contacting you, we will. If we need more information or need you to verify we will contact you,” Castro said.
There is nothing else taxpayers can do to speed up the 2019 returns, Castro said.
“We’re working hard to get through the backlog,” Castro said. “Please don’t file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.”
If you receive a 1099-G that indicates you owe taxes on federal unemployment benefits and you never received benefits contact the Department of Economic Opportunity.
For information about Reemployment Assistance fraud, visit the DEO website at FloridaJobs.org/reportfraud. It is important that all possible instances of Reemployment Assistance are reported. Claimants may report Reemployment Assistance fraud online by completing the form, which can be found here. Additionally, claimants may call 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759), or email ReportRAScam@deo.myflorida.com. If a claimant received a 1099-G Form and did not file a claim for Reemployment Assistance, they should report this online at 1099GRequest.myflorida.com. For more information about Reemployment Assistance tax forms visit our website here.
If you earned $72,000 or less you may be eligible for free tax filing.
If you have an unemployment benefits issue email: firstname.lastname@example.org