Months later, many still waiting for income tax refunds
Posted November 17, 2020 6:07 p.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2020 6:35 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — COVID-19 is being blamed for slowing down 2019 tax refunds. The IRS had to shut down between March and June, causing a backlog of returns being processed.
Accountant Alison Green said, "It is the tax year that has never ended. It's still ongoing."
Green has been helping clients with their federal tax returns for 13 years, but she's never experienced a year like 2019, with extensions to file going to Oct. 15, 2020.
While those who owe could request that delay, those waiting on a refund are just stymied by the IRS slowdown.
Mary Bovain filed her return electronically in March and has yet to receive her refund.
"When we filed last year, we got it back in like three to four weeks," she said.
Bovain is not alone. The IRS says the pandemic forced employees to work remotely, backing up the system and limiting the number of employees available to take calls from frustrated taxpayers.
Green said, "I have heard so many people have called the IRS. They're on hold for an hour, they get through to someone and then they're cut off. And this is happening over and over again."
Green says she filed for some of her clients back in February, and they received refund checks nine months later.
Bovain hopes her check is on the way because now, more than ever, her family needs the money.
"We have bills that we need to pay," she said. "We have house payments, light bills. It would help a lot."