As the extended rollout of stimulus checks steadily heads to the end, the volume of work involved has caused another delay: tax refunds. Typically, the IRS is able to provide refunds in 21 days at the most, but those that managed to file this year have seen a significant holdup in their refunds. Trudy Howard, the owner of Howard Tax Prep LLC, spoke to ABC Chicago about the unprecedented tax season.
"I've never seen anything like this, and I've been doing this since 2003," Howard said. She added that she's "part of a tax community and a lot of people from Memphis, Atlanta, throughout the United States, they are reporting that their clients also have not been receiving their refunds in the typical seven to 21 days." The IRS, which has only recently started to bring on extra workers to provide phone support for their stimulus payments, has recommended people track their refund online. However, several people have reported that they only get a message that it's "being processed," with no additional information.
The IRS has also addressed the delays, saying that "it's possible a particular tax return may require additional review and a refund could take longer," and that "many different factors can affect the timing of a refund." The agency also said on May 8 that 94.3 million refunds worth $255.4 billion have been sent to residents so far. Some recipients even had the memes to prove it.
As the stimulus payments begin to wind down, there has been an increasing call for a second round to help the millions of cash-strapped Americans. The House of Representatives recently passed The Heroes Act, which would provide another one-time payment of $1,200 to residents, along with another $1,200 per dependent. However, the Senate has decided to table all discussion about the topic until June, which has drawn the ire of both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and presumed Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
In addition to declaring the importance of testing, tracing and treating people for COVID-19, Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday that "Republican leaders in the Senate think we need a pause," before putting them on blast for the delay. "I don't think the virus is taking a pause. I don't think hunger's taking a pause, I don't think job insecurity is taking a pause, I don't think paying your rent takes a pause. We don't need a pause. We need action."