No Tax Refund After 21 days – Tips on Contacting the IRS

It normally takes a maximum of 21 days to receive a tax refund after it has been accepted by the IRS. But this is a target based on estimates from past IRS schedules only and not a guarantee.

After the tax return has been Accepted by the IRS (meaning only that they received the return) it will be in the Processing mode until the tax refund has been Approved and then an Issue Date will be available on the IRS website

If over 21 days since being accepted by the IRS and the tax refund is still Processing you can call the IRS and speak with an IRS agent concerning your tax refund. Don’t call before 21 days as the IRS will tell you to wait until the prescribed period.

Call the IRS:  1-800-829-1040  hours 7 AM – 7 PM local time Monday-Friday

When calling the IRS do NOT choose the first option re: “Refund”, or it will send you to an automated phone line.  Instead consider the following routing:

  • So after first choosing your language, then do NOT choose Option 1 (refund info).  Choose option 2 for “personal income tax” instead.
  • Then press 1 for “form, tax history, or payment”.   
  • Then press 3 “for all other questions.”
  • Then press 2 “for all other questions.”  
  • When it asks you to enter your SSN or EIN to access your account information, don’t enter anything. 
  • After it asks twice, you will get another menu.
  • Then press 2 for personal or individual tax questions.
  • It should then transfer you to an agent.

Thanks to our friends at Turbo Tax for this useful information. Please leave a comment if you have found a different and effective way to speak to a real IRS Tax agent.

2 thoughts on “No Tax Refund After 21 days – Tips on Contacting the IRS

  1. Val S

    This is very accurate information! I am literally following the instructions, line by line, and am so pleased with the results. The wait is 15-30 minutes, but I’ve this is the first time the call has reached this far. Thanks!


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