The IRS has gotten quite good at processing tax returns and issuing refunds quickly and efficiently. The IRS website says that the normal processing time for an electronically filed return is 21 days, but in reality, millions of taxpayers receive their refunds even quicker — sometimes within a week, sometimes in days. Similar to past years, IRS employees are working tirelessly to get taxpayers their much-needed refunds as quickly as possible. However, a combination of the high volume of 2020 tax returns requiring manual processing, the backlog of unprocessed 2019 paper tax returns, congressional mandates to issue economic impact payments (EIPs) and provide other relief to taxpayers during the pandemic, limited resources, and technology issues have contributed to more refund delays and longer refund delays than are typical in a normal filing season.

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