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"Your Return Is Being Processed" Meaning

So, your Where’s My Refund status says, “we have received your tax refund and it is being processed,” and you are wondering if there are any issues with your tax return that may result in a delay in the release of your tax refund? Read on to learn what to expect.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Key Takeaways:

  • Receiving an IRS message that states, “We have received your tax return and it is being processed,” after filing your federal income tax return is a positive sign that your tax fund is likely to be released on the scheduled day.

  • If there are no problems in the tax return that cause delays, tax refunds are usually released within 21 days of filing.

  • Taxpayers can check the status of their tax refund by using the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool from 1 day to 4 weeks after filing their federal income tax return, depending on whether they filed electronically or with a physical form. After supplying their SSN or TIN, their filing status information, and the exact refund amount listed on their tax return, they can see the progress of their refund being received (and in processing), approved, and sent, along with the date they can expect to receive their refund.

  • If a taxpayer’s refund status changes from PATH status to “being processed” status, no mistakes have been detected and their refund may be issued on time. If their refund status changes from “still being processed” status to “being processed” status, the IRS may have detected an issue in your tax return that could cause a delay in the release of their tax refund. If their refund status changes from “being processed” status to “still being processed” status, the issue detected in the tax forms was likely resolved and the refund may be released when it is approved for a future cycle date.

We Have Received Your Tax Refund And It Is Being Processed

Receiving an IRS message that states, “We have received your tax return and it is being processed,” after filing your federal income tax return is a positive sign that your tax fund is likely to be released on the scheduled day. If there are no problems in the tax return that cause delays, tax refunds are usually released within 21 days of filing.

The IRS systematically releases a set number of direct deposit refunds every week, so a taxpayer’s refund status may show that their return is being processed until it is approved during a future cycle date.

How To Check Your Refund Status

The IRS offers an online tool called “Where’s My Refund?” that allows taxpayers to check the status of their tax refunds after they have filed their tax returns. This tracker can be accessed on the IRS website or on the IRS2Go app. In order to access this tool, taxpayers must have their Social Security Number (SSN) or taxpayer identification number (TIN) ready, as well as their filing status information and the exact refund amount listed on their tax return.

Depending on whether the taxpayer filed their tax return electronically or through the mail, taxpayers may begin checking their refund status using the WMR tool within:

  • 1 day or 24 hours of e-filing a 2022 income tax return
  • 3 to 4 days of e-filing a 2020 or 2021 income tax return
  • 4 weeks of filing a paper return and submitting the form to the IRS in the mail

When the taxpayer submits their tax return and checks the status through the refund tool, they will gain access to a tracker that displays the progress of the tax refund:

  • Return Received
  • Refund Approved
  • Refund Sent

After the tax return is submitted and processed, and the refund is approved, the taxpayer will be able to access a personalized refund date from the Where’s My Refund? tool.

What To Do If You Receive The IRS "Being Processed" Message

If you check the status of your refund and you see the message, “we have received your tax return and it is being processed,” here is how you should proceed:

  • Understand that the tax return you filed was successfully received by the IRS
  • Know that until the processing of your tax return is completed, the system cannot authorize the release of your refund money
  • Patiently waiting a few weeks upon seeing the processing message will inform you if you need to take any action

Examples Of Refund Status Message Changes

Here are some of the common refund status messages you may observe using the Where’s My Refund? tool and what they mean:

Before: The PATH Refund Status

After: We have received your tax return and it is being processed

If the tracker status on the WMR tool changes from the PATH refund status to the processing message, this is a sign that your tax return is on track to be approved for a refund and no discrepancies in your filed information have been detected.

Before: Your tax return is still being processed.

After: We have received your tax return and it is being processed

If your refund status used to be your tax return is still being processed, but now the status says it is being processed, the IRS may have detected an issue in your tax return that could cause a delay in the release of your tax refund. 

Before: We have received your tax return and it is being processed

After: Your tax return is still being processed.

In the situation that your refund status changes from “we have received your tax return, and it is being processed” to “your tax return is still being processed,” it is likely that an issue or discrepancy that was detected in your tax return has been resolved. The IRS system will update your account as soon as it can be approved for a tax refund date in a future cycle.

If you need help understanding your refund status or want tax tips to help you achieve the highest refund compensation in the future, consult with the tax professionals at Ideal Tax to have all your questions answered.

Luis Ceja, Author
Luis Ceja, Author

Luis graduated from California State University Fullerton with a B.A. in Political Science. As the Director of Operations at Ideal Tax, he combines years of tax related knowledge with industry expertise, solidifying his prominence in the field.

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