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IRS unemployment refund update: Frustration builds as mid-June comes and goes

Taxpayers hoping they’ll be among the recipients of the second batch of unemployment-related refunds are growing anxious.

IRS unemployment refund update: Frustration builds as mid-June comes and goes
[Source Photo: Unsplash]

Remember when the Internal Revenue Service said it would start sending out the next batch of unemployment-related tax refunds in mid-June? A lot of people do, and now that mid-June has effectively come and gone, many hopeful recipients are eagerly awaiting the next update.

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With a little more than a week left in the month, the IRS has still not offered a date for when taxpayers who might be eligible for the refunds can expect the forthcoming batch of checks. IRS staffers have been working overtime to correct tax returns that were filed before the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March, which exempted up to $10,200 in taxable income on unemployment compensation paid in 2020. Some $2.8 million checks were reportedly delivered earlier this month, but there’s been little word on the second batch, other than the “mid-June” update that was posted over two weeks ago.

The IRS has not responded to multiple requests for an updated timeline. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

Taxpayers on message boards and in Facebook groups who have been tracking the payments—and who are hoping they might be among the recipients for the next batch—have grown increasingly anxious in recent days, in part because the waiting feels like déjà vu. The IRS initially said the first batch of these payments would be delivered in May, but then let several weeks lapse before finally announcing the payments in early June.

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The delay is not exactly a surprise. The agency is generally underfunded, understaffed, and dealing with multiple bureaucratic headaches at once, including preparations for the monthly child tax credit payments that are set to to begin in just a few weeks. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for those, too.

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About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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