We Still Haven’t Received Our Federal Tax Refund. What Should We Do?

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Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.

How Do We Track Down Our Federal Tax Refund?

Laura from Ohio asks: “We still haven’t received our federal tax refund, which we sent in the first week of March. Do you have any recommendations about what we and all the other Americans in the same boat can do?”

Clark’s Take on What To Do if You Haven’t Received Your Federal Tax Refund

Clark says: The fact of the matter is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is backed up right now.

“This has been an exercise in frustration for not just you personally, but many, many millions of Americans,” he adds.

“For a lot of reasons, the IRS has millions of pieces of mail they haven’t even opened yet,” Clark says. “They are understaffed, and the last two tax seasons, because of coronavirus, have really fouled up their operations.”

At IRS.gov, the agency acknowledges “COVID-19 processing delays.” Still, you may be able to find some specific answers related to your refund on the agency’s website.

No matter what, don’t file a second return. And if you must call, the IRS says to do so only if:

  • It’s been 21 days or more since you e-filed
  • The “Where’s My Refund” tool tells you to contact the IRS

How To Call the IRS

You can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.

How To Find Your Local IRS Office

The IRS has offices around the country. Use this link to find an IRS office near you.

To hear Clark’s full take on this question, listen to the segment:

Do you have a question for Clark? Use this form to ask him! And remember that you can listen to the Clark Howard Podcast at any time here.


If you have a question but don’t want to go on-air, contact Clark’s Consumer Action Center for free money help.

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