If an IRS employee tells you your tax return is in the errors department, it means the IRS thinks it founds a mistake on your tax return.
What does the IRS errors department do?
The IRS errors department isn’t a formal division of the IRS at least publicly. The IRS does have groups of people who review potential errors on your tax return.
When you file your taxes, the IRS computers will check your return. This isn’t a full audit, but it can catch common errors.
Depending on the type of error, the computer will either send you a notice changing your tax return, send you a notice asking for more information, or tell an IRS employee to take a closer look at your tax return.
Notices usually go out within a few days or weeks, while manual reviews can take several weeks or even months.
How do I know if my tax return got sent to the IRS errors department?
When you check your refund status online, the IRS won’t mention the errors department. Instead, you may see that your refund status bars disappeared or get a message that your refund will take longer to process.
At this point, there’s nothing you can do but wait. The IRS will contact you when it’s ready, or it may realize there’s no error and approve your refund.
If you call the IRS to check the status of your refund, they may tell you that your tax return is in the errors department. This means that your tax return is in line to get checked by a human.
If you’re really worried something might be wrong, you can chat with a tax expert online.
How do I get my tax return out of the errors department?
The IRS will contact you after it reviews your tax return. It reviews tax returns in order, and you can’t move up in line by calling or doing anything else.
Sometimes, the IRS will approve your original refund.
If the IRS thinks it’s clear that you should get a smaller refund, it will send you the adjusted refund and send you a notice explaining why.
If the IRS needs more information to determine whether you made an error, it will send you a notice explaining what it wants to see.
Once you get a notice from the IRS, the faster you respond, the faster you’ll be back in line to get your refund.
How long will it take to get a notice from the errors department?
How long it takes to get a notice when your tax refund is held depends on several factors.
Different IRS groups review different tax return issues. Simple, common mistakes often get resolved faster. More complex issues often take more time for the IRS to review.
The IRS has also had major staffing and processing issues since 2020. While you should normally expect to get a notice within a few weeks, some people aren’t getting notices for months.
If it has been more than six weeks since you filed your tax return and you haven’t heard anything from the IRS, call for an update.
Sometimes, you might get a CP05 Notice or Letter 2645C telling you that the IRS needs additional time. These types of letters let you know that the IRS is taking longer than normal and there’s no need to call.
How do I contact the IRS errors department?
Use the phone number on the notice you receive from the IRS. They use different phone numbers for different issues.
If you never received a notice, call the main IRS phone number at 1-800-829-1040. They will then either tell you your tax return is still under review or forward you to the correct number.
How long will it take to get your tax refund?
Refund processing times will vary based on the situation.
Once the IRS approves your refund, you’ll usually receive it within 2-4 weeks just like when you file your taxes.
If you have to send the IRS information, it can take them 2-6 weeks or longer to review your information before they approve your refund. In addition, there’s a chance that the IRS could send you another notice asking for more information before approving your refund.
Does the IRS make mistakes on refunds?
The IRS sometimes makes mistakes when adjusting tax refunds. There’s also a chance that you didn’t give the IRS enough information.
If the IRS changes your refund, carefully review why.
If you don’t understand why the IRS made changes, you may want to contact a tax professional.
If you disagree with changes the IRS made, you can appeal your tax notice on your own or hire a tax professional.
If your refund amount wasn’t what you were expecting and you never got a notice the IRS changed it, call the IRS for an explanation.