IRS Hardware Failure Sparks Delayed Refund Fears

Getting your tax refunds should be pretty straightforward, right? Traditionally, yes, but 2016 is proving to be an exception to the norm. An unexpected shutdown of the IRS tax return processing system, which is believed to have been caused by a hardware issue, has left many residents wondering if they'll have to wait longer for their refunds.

The big question, of course, is who was affected by the two-day IRS processing shutdown? To answer that, we have to mention that it's still unclear on if there will be any significant delays, and how lengthy they might be. That said, the system in question experienced a hardware system failure on Wednesday February 3rd which extended into Thursday the 4th. By Friday, the IRS reported that it had the system fully restored and back to processing returns.

Could My Tax Refund Be Delayed?

At best there would be no delay of any kind, with the exception of perhaps the two days when the system was being restored. Still, that's taking the optimist's perspective. And considering the complexity of the process, delayed refunds are a possibility even when there are no shutdowns to speak of. There are so many moving parts at that level, but they've had decades to streamline the process to one of remarkable efficiency.

In the case of 2015 tax returns, we don't expect it to be anything too substantial, if at all.  The IRS' status updates seemed very positive about things going forward in a smooth, progressive manner.  Had it taken weeks or more to restore the system, say, in the event of a more catastrophic system failure, the outcome could have gone very differently.

Questions About Your 2015 Tax Refund?

If you're in the Rochester or WNY area and have questions about your 2015 tax return, Flower City Tax & Accounting can help.  Whether you're curious about how the delay might affect you, or simply looking for a professional to help you prepare and file your taxes, there's nothing we can't assist with.  Contact us at 585-663-8210 to learn more or get started.