Schenectady man waits months for his tax refund, as IRS deals with backlog of returns

Most Americans were required to file their 2021 tax returns in April, but the IRS is still processing millions of them, forcing people to have to wait months for their refund.

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That includes Jerry Englebardt, who filed his taxes in March and always files on time.

“In the past, every year I’ve gotten my refund in a week.”

At the age of 86, Englebardt said this was the first time he has ever had an issue with the IRS.

“I can’t say that I’m poor but I’m not rich either. I’m like the average person. You kind of expect it because you paid it in,” he said.

Englebardt said he’s waiting for his $3,173 refund to hit his bank account.

13 Investigates contacted the IRS for Englebardt. They told us they could not make comments on individual taxpayers.

Instead, people should visit the “Where’s My Refund” page on the IRS website. You can also call the IRS 1040 helpline at 800-829-1040 or make an appointment at a local taxpayer assistance center.

After 13 Investigates got involved with Englebardt’s case, he now tells us he should receive his tax return on Friday, July 8.

“I gave them everything they asked for. I gave them my Social Security number. They wanted to know the amount I expected back,” Englebardt said. “After I gave a lot of information, they said it was not enough. Just like on the computer. They said it wasn’t enough.”

In late June, the IRS said more than twice as many returns await processing compared to a typical year.

Due to the pandemic and staffing issues, the IRS said they started 2022 with a larger than usual inventory of paper tax returns.

Ed Canty, with Canty Financial Management in Ballston Spa, said the IRS is still trying to catch up.

However, some people can get their tax return in a reasonable amount of time, while others have to wait months

“If you have multiple sources of income, rental properties and higher income in general, etc., those are probably all unique situations where the IRS may look deeper into your situation before issuing a refund,” Canty said.

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If you are still waiting for a tax return, here’s a tip:

If you get any letters from the IRS about your refund, respond quickly.

Even in the age of technology, faxing the IRS is the better method because things get lost in the mail.