6 News Investigates: Amended tax filing frustration

Some taxpayers are waiting on amended returns from last year
(ROMAN | Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 8:53 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A year ago, the IRS claimed the Canellis owed $1,800 on their 2020 tax return.

“I thought ok well we got to pay it,” said Justine Canelli. “And then we looked through our W-2s and went there’s no way we owe.”

The couple discovered a mistake by a tax preparer and filed an amended return, so the IRS owes them about $3,000 that they’ve waited on since last May.

“The frustrating thing is we had the wait time the lack of response the lack of answers, right?” said Justin Canelli.

I asked the IRS for them.

The IRS sent me an email with a staggering figure. As of last week, there are 2.3 million 1040-X amended forms that are yet to be processed. The IRS is processing them in the order in which they are received.”

The IRS statement says COVID-19 continues to cause delays in live phone support processing paper returns, answering mail and reviewing returns. That includes those filed electronically. The IRS says instead of 16 weeks, the refund wait is more than five months or more.

“I got some (amended) returns filed in the summer of 2020 that still haven’t been processed,” said CPA Dan Shepard.

He also said faster electronic filing isn’t always an option.

”Some of these amended returns couldn’t be submitted electronically due to size or other complexities that we couldn’t do it electronically,” Shepard added. “There were some you could fax in but there are page restrictions on that.”

The Canellis electronically filed their amended return and the delay in processing gives them food for thought.

“The domino effect of ‘ok everything is on hold here you don’t get your child tax credit until your amended is remedied’ and that is the holdup,” said Justin.

The IRSs says taxpayers must file for 2021 to get child tax credit even if their 2020 return isn’t processed yet.

Helping Justine process all the latest information is a Facebook group page with 5000 members called “Where’s my amended return?”

She says she doesn’t use the group to complain, but to see if anyone has answers. Her search for any answers to a tax refund is seven months and counting.

Congressman Don Bacon’s office is getting calls on issues with amended returns. Bacon says the IRS needs more staff for customer service and tax form processing. He calls the wait time unacceptable.

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