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Wendy Reed
Wendy Reed, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3346
Experience:  15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
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The IRS is holding my refund and has not notified me via letter.

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The IRS is holding my refund and has not notified me via letter. Each time I call to check the status the agent comments they are not sure why I have not been notified. In fact, they ask me several times if I am sure I have not received a letter. The agents also cannot find any notes as to why the refulnd id being held.
I do not have any outstanding tax bills, leins, student loans or anything that they would need to hold the money to potentially cover a debt. I file taxes every year without issues.
What are my rights?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I will give the best answer that I can with the information provided.



This is a common problem with the IRS, where they have a code of 1201 or 1301 on the check your refund website and when you call, they cannot give you any information other than to tell you that they may have sent a letter or that they will send a letter.


There have been processing issues for certain returns, including the Form 5405 (homebuyer credit) payback.


Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do about this. The IRS generally will pay interest on a processing delay if they fail to issue the refund on a correctly filed return within 45 days.


The option to use when dealing with IRS delays is the Taxpayer advocate. They have a link to your rights in dealing with the IRS and other helpful info:,,id=212313,00.html



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