Anderson County man finally receives tax refund

Investigations

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — How long should it take for your Internal Revenue Service tax refund to arrive? The IRS says normally 3-6 weeks. But imagine having to wait more than four months? That’s what an Anderson County man found out about his refund.

He called WATE 6 On Your Side back in May after weeks of waiting – and now, he’s finally received his refund.

If you’re worried about your refund, the IRS encourages you to check its website and go to the section called “Where is My Refund?” Bob Hazel tried the website, tried calling the toll-free number provided by the IRS on its website and even checked the White Pages in an old phonebook he had for the local IRS number.

Bob Hazel’s basement workshop hasn’t changed much over the last 20 years. He likes it that way.
After we talked with him last month about the long delay in receiving his income tax refund,
he turned to this phone book on his workbench for the local IRS number.

“Yes, I just have it down there in my workshop just in case I need to look something up once in a while. I don’t think kids know what a phone book is nowadays,” Hazel said.

In the 8-year-old phone book, he found the local Revenue Service’s phone number and was directed to the IRS Business Speciality line.

“I actually got a person, it took a while. But I got a person and she told me what was going on. It took a while she did about 15 minutes of research to figure out what really happened,” Hazel said.

It was last month when the retired Y-12 worker poured over his tax return for any obvious mistakes he may have made. He couldn’t find any. As in the past, Bob filed his return electronically, However, he’s never waited months for his refund to arrive.

“I filed my tax return February 8, ’21. It was accepted that day. Within a couple of days, I got back online and it said your refund is being processed. I was waiting eight weeks before I started trying to figure out where it is at,” Hazel said.

So, in late April, he went to this IRS website to check on the results of his refund — no luck.

“It’s always the same thing. But I have not been able to talk to a person,” Hazel said. “I got a robot person on the phone and that reverts back to filling out the 10-40 thing on your phone.” He said that in the past it has taken no longer than eight weeks to get his return after filing with e-file.

This time it took 19 weeks for his tax refund to arrive. Without that phone book and the call, his account still might be in limbo.

Apparently, the company that Hazel worked for had not sent in the necessary paperwork. the agent told Hazel that they got it a month ago, but said his account had been frozen until they unfreeze it.

“She said, ‘I’ll do that here in a minute, I’ll unfreeze it and you should hear something within two or three weeks,'” Hazel said. “And I did. It finally worked (he laughs) I got to talk with a real person.”

The IRS says most refunds are being processed in 21 days and there could be a number of reasons for delayed refunds. They include incorrect or missing documents, incorrect W-2 or 1099 forms, or fraud. The agency says it is swamped because of the stimulus payments and continued COVID-19 challenges that cause delays in some of its services, including live phone support.

As Mr. Hazel put it, “Don’t give up.”

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