The IRS' message to taxpayers over its latest "Where's My Refund" website glitch: We're sorry, and we're working on it.
"The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience and will provide updated information as soon as possible," a message on the IRS website says.
The apology is aimed at alleviating taxpayers' concerns, after the "Where's My Refund" site mistakenly told them the IRS had no information about their e-filed returns. "It's not even coming up, it just tells me my information is incorrect," a distraught taxpayer in Tennessee told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Another taxpayer complained the site "just errors out. They are obviously having issues," he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The latest IRS "Where's My Refund" glitch comes after another round of taxpayer complaints about the site in January. The site is supposed to estimate when e-filing taxpayers should expect to receive their return -- typically within 10 to 21 days. Estimates given between Jan. 17 and 25, however, were off by about a week.
Both rounds of glitches seem to be linked to the IRS' "fine-tuning" of its updated e-file system, which includes "new safeguards" against fraud, according to the Chronicle.
It's not clear what those safeguards are, but they may be necessary as more taxpayers become victims of electronic fraud and identity theft, the online Huffington Post reports. For example, some Georgia taxpayers who e-filed using the tax-prep software Turbo Tax somehow had their refunds stolen, according to the Post.
The IRS' "Where's My Refund" glitch, and uncertainty about when to expect a refund, is probably most infuriating for the 50% of taxpayers who use their refunds to make ends meet, the Post reports. Still, taxpayers who e-file will generally receive their refunds within 21 days, the IRS insists.
- Where's My Refund - It's Quick, Easy, and Secure (Internal Revenue Service)
- IRS having more problems with 'Where's My Refund' tool (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Refund Anticipation Loan: Beware of Tax Scams (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Get Help Now: Tax Help and Resources (FindLaw)