August 16, 2022

Bucks: Some Tax Refund Checks Still Not in the Mail

For most of us, the tax-filing season seems a distant memory as the summer season unfolds. But for some unlucky filers, it isn’t over quite yet.

Back in the spring, Bucks looked at refund delays affecting taxpayers who bought a home in 2008 and took that year’s version of the first-time home buyer credit on their federal tax return. At the time, the Internal Revenue Service said the issue was related to computer problems in processing Form 5405, which is used for repayment of the credit. (The earliest version of the first-time home buyer credit — for homes bought from April 8, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2008 — functioned like a no-interest loan. First-time buyers could take a credit on their 2008 tax return of up to $7,500. But the catch was that they had to repay it over 15 years, beginning with their 2010 tax return.)

Couples filing joint returns, and those who filed before Feb. 22, were particularly affected by the processing problems. Filers who tried to repay more than the minimum required amount also experienced glitches. The agency said employees were manually processing returns for these taxpayers and expected most, if not all, of those affected to get refunds by April 5 or the following week — assuming there were no other issues with the return.

That is little comfort to one couple in Bowie, Md.

Brandon, a 30-year-old information technology specialist — he asked that his last name not be used, for privacy reasons — said he and his wife, who are expecting their first child, are still waiting for their refund of nearly $10,000, almost five months after they filed their return. He contacted me out of frustration, saying that his accountant has verified that all forms were filed correctly and that the I.R.S. has said there is no other problem with the couple’s return. But at least eight estimated payment dates provided by the agency have come and gone, with no refund in sight.

“It has been an absolute nightmare,” he said in a phone interview. “This is ridiculous.” He contacted the agency’s Taxpayer Advocate Service,  but said that hasn’t helped get the issue resolved.

An I.R.S. spokesman was unable to provide updated information about the scope of the delays. And a quick look at a Facebook page established for filers experiencing delays suggests he isn’t alone. Some filers say they are being given estimated refund dates in August.

Are you still waiting for your 2011 tax refund? What reason were you given?

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