I know the tone of the title might make you think I’m being sarcastic and this whole post is going to be a downer but…it’s not.
Sure, I’m a little frustrated. It’s the first year we’ve filed taxes and not qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). A couple years ago the IRS was detecting so much fraud from returns that claimed the EITC (and another credit, but I don’t remember which one – possibly the Additional Child Tax Credit) that those refunds were always held until around February 15th before they would begin processing them.
I was so excited I wouldn’t have the delay this year. We were filing with no EITC and nothing but W2s … I figured our process couldn’t be smoother, right?
When you use the IRS2GO app (that connects to Where’s My Refund?) there are “bars”
One Bar: Your return has been accepted.
Two Bars: Your return is done being processed and you have a Direct Deposit Date (DDD)
Three Bars: You’ve received your refund. (I’ve never seen this step because who checks the app once the cash is in your account?)
I went from one bar to this message saying “The IRS is still processing your return….”
Uh oh. What the heck does that mean?
So I go to the Facebook Groups and do some sleuthing. My account is frozen and on hold for some unknown reason. I can’t call the IRS until 21 days after I’ve filed because they won’t give out information sooner.
I’m not going to lie, I was proud of myself for making it to day 18 before giving in and calling, hoping for an answer. (It’s business days so 21 days is a long time!)
The first woman I spoke with was fun, upbeat and we had a good rapport. She put me on hold to check, came back on the line, and halfway through her first sentence we were disconnected. *sad face*
I called back and the second woman I spoke with was dour and borderline rude. I hung up because .. well, why wouldn’t I? I do not deal with people who sound like they hate their job. It never ends well.
The third call I got a different woman who was upbeat and friendly and we continued through the process. She said a letter was mailed to me on 2/28 but it would take 7-10 days to get to me (or be sent – she was unclear) and that she could see it was a CPO5C notice, the system would not let her open it and read the contents to me.
Why am I getting the CP05 Notice from the IRS?
Simply put, your tax refund is being held. This is not an audit notice. They will review your return before releasing a refund. The review is part of a normal revenue protection program by the IRS. The IRS selects returns for review using various methods which include random sampling, computerized screening, and comparison of information received by the IRS such as Forms W-2 and 1099. The letter will indicate that they are reviewing your return for one or more of the following:
- Income you reported on your return
- Income tax withholding amounts
- Claims for tax credits
- Social Security benefits withholding amounts
- Household Help
- Schedule C Income
It seems particularly odd since, as I said, we only had W2 income and I did not file my return until we had all the W2 forms physically in hand. I didn’t do anything shifty like use the last paystubs from jobs or anything like that!
Sadly, there’s nothing I can do and as far as I can tell the IRS will provide me with a date 45 days from the mailing of the letter as the date by which everything should be sorted. The woman on the phone said 60 days but it usually gets resolved much sooner.
Online, it seems that many people are saying they know a lot of people who got their returns frozen this year. I’m not sure if it’s more than average and I haven’t been able to find a source (and probably won’t find one until about 21 business days after the completion of tax season) that shows how many people were affected by this change.
What This Means for Mr. Brickie and the Family
We live skint in the winter. We do our best to keep everything homemade and if things get bad we go to food pantries. We’ve had a much, much better winter than in years past and so receiving the tax refund is not something that we have to have to keep the electric bill paid and that is something I am beyond grateful for.
While I’m curious what’s going on with our refund, I’m not mad or agitated about it at all. Curious? Absolutely! But we all know I’m curious by nature!
All signs point to Mr. Brickie going back to work this month and I feel in my bones that will be the case. (Bones, don’t let me down!) We will use that money to keep up with bills and start saving for the down payment on a property.
Mr. Brickie thinks we will be sorted with his paycheck and have a bit of savings and then the tax return will hit and it will be at just the right time so we have 30 days of paystubs for the year and can close with a good down payment and all the documentation we need for the mortgage.
I certainly hope he’s right!
We are optimistic.
I am optimistic.
I’ll keep you updated with what happens!