Good Question: What happened to my tax return?

Brennan Somers
Updated: July 02, 2020 05:22 AM
Created: July 02, 2020 04:19 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Today's Good Question has to do with your taxes.

Steve from Honeoye Falls sent News10NBC’s Brennan Somers a message saying: “Two of my children mailed paper federal tax returns at the end of March. The IRS web site has no record of the returns when they search under ‘Where's my refund’ and they can't find out any information from the IRS. My question is, what happens to paper tax returns in the age of COVID? Is the IRS even staffing their processing centers?”


Steve isn't the only viewer asking those questions.

So here's the answer from the IRS:

-Updated June 30, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers and tax professionals to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments.

To protect the public and employees, and in compliance with orders of local health authorities around the country, certain IRS services such as live assistance on telephones, processing paper tax returns and responding to correspondence continue to be extremely limited. While some volunteer tax preparation sites are operating at a reduced capacity, most remain closed until further notice.

-IRS operational status and alternatives

Processing Delays for Paper Tax Returns: Taxpayers should file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider, or IRS Free File.

We’re experiencing delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. If you already filed a paper return, we will process it in the order we received it.

Do not file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.

Web Options: remains the best source for questions about tax law, checks on refund status, tax payments and Economic Impact Payments. Numerous online options for tax help can save time and effort.

If you have a question you would like answered, send an e-mail to

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