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Where's 'Where's My Refund?'

OK, the Internal Revenue Service's online refund tracking tool Where's My Refund? is still there at the agency's website.

Wheres_my_refund_2009 logoBut it just doesn't have correct or up-to-date information for a lot of taxpayers.

The refund locator tool problem stems from the same computer upgrades implemented this filing season to stop tax identity theft.

As I blogged back in January, the tax anti-fraud IT "improvement" has caused some tax refunds to be delayed.

Now that same well-intentioned crime-stopping effort is preventing many taxpayers from even getting an update on the status of their refunds.

Yep, technology is great until it isn't.

Here's the latest from the IRS at the Where's My Refund? page:

Update: We are aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit "Where's My Refund" and are told that we have no information regarding their return. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit "Where's My Refund."

If a taxpayer received an acknowledgment message that their e-filed tax return has been received, they can be assured that the IRS has the tax return even though "Where's My Refund" does not reflect that. Taxpayers should not call the IRS unless specifically directed by "Where's My Refund," as there is no new information to give them.

We expect the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued within the historical range of 10 to 21 days. The IRS is taking steps to update information so that Where's My Refund has current information. The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience and will provide updated information as soon as possible.

Hmmm. Maybe the IRS should change that page's header to Where's My Refund - It's Quick, Easy, Secure and On the Fritz, at least until it gets the problem solved.

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