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Anne, Master Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2339
Experience:  Enrolled Agent with 25 Years Experience specializing Individual and Small Businesses
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What does tax code 152 mean?

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I need a straight answer/clear explanation about the status message I received from the IRS regarding my refund.

Here's the info: I'm married, filing jointly, expecting a good-sized refund this year, fairly similar to past years, but my tax situation is complicated by several factors, including self-employment, penalty-exempt hardship distribution of a 401(k) and a number of deductions and credits, such as tuition.

So, I filed in late January and found out the IRS wasn't accepting returns like mine until 2/14. The IRS accepted the return on 2/13, actually, and said I could expect my refund on 2/25. I recently logged on to the "Where's My Refund" tool the IRS offers and received this message:

"Your expected refund date has been changed due to processing delays. You should receive your refund by March 1, 2011.

Please wait until that date to contact us again because we cannot take any action until then. Thank you for your patience.
Please read the following information related to your tax situation:

* Tax Topic 152, Refund Information"

I've been trying to figure out if I *really* can expect my refund on the new date of 3/1. I'm really counting on the money. I did some searching online and some people say this means there was an error on my return, some say it means an audit is coming, some say the IRS is just backlogged because of the tax law changes &/or system upgrades, and some say complicated returns like mine might just be getting reviewed more slowly but not have a problem.

Please tell me, do you know what the message actually means?

I've heard the IRS updates their statuses on Wednesday, so I'm anxiously waiting to see if my new 3/1 date changes again.

Hello, and thank you for using JustAnswer.

The truth is, the IRS IS more behind this year in processing returns than they have been in years past. This should in no way be construed to mean anything other than what they told you, which is that they are behind. In my 25 years of preparing taxes, I honestly can't remember a time when the IRS could not accept Schedule A (itemized deductions) until after a certain date. There are some credits, such as the education credits for example, that have been consistently late over the years, but this year seems to a banner year for IRS to be behind in processing returns due to the late changes in Congress. Please see the link below:

IRS Tax Filing Delay – Income Tax Filing Delay 2010

If the link doesn't work, here' the address you may cut and paste into your web browser:

IRS Tax Filing Delay – Income Tax Filing Delay 2010

My point here is that just because your tax return is delayed by the IRS , there is, at this point in time, absolutely NO reason to assume the worst.

Normally, the IRS will send you a "letter of disagreement" should that be the case. Since you have not received a disagreement letter, then, at this point in time, there's no reason for you to assume that the IRS hasn't processed your tax return for any other reason other than they are behind.

I hope this helps.

Anne and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for answering. It turns out you were right. I checked the status of my return this morning, and it had actually been reversed, so that I am now scheduled to receive my refund this Friday, 2/25, just as I had been originally. Guess I should have waited, but hard to wait when I was counting on the money so much!

I'm glad that you have a date now for when you'll be paid. I am sure that relieved some of the stress around the length of time it would be before you got your refund

Please be sure to let me know if I can help you in the future.