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IRS unemployment tax refund update: Are checks finally coming in October?

Some taxpayers are waking up to surprise direct deposits this week. The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t said much about what’s happening.

IRS unemployment tax refund update: Are checks finally coming in October?
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What better way to start your morning than with a surprise check from the government?

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That’s the enviable situation for a number of taxpayers this week, who are taking to Reddit, Twitter, and other social media forums to rejoice over the news of a pending direct deposit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Some recipients are reporting a deposit date of today.

Some of the payments are possibly related to 2020 unemployment compensation adjustments, whereby the IRS excluded up to $10,200 from taxable calculations. Those changes—authorized with the American Rescue Plan Act way back in March—have already resulted in refunds for at least 8.7 million Americans, but the IRS all but stopped providing updates about the payments in late July.

Officially, distribution of the checks was only supposed to continue through the summer, but as summer came and went, many taxpayers who had been expecting a refund were left wondering if they had been passed over.

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Despite the lack of official communication from the IRS, a blog post from the National Taxpayer Advocate in September revealed that some 436,000 tax returns had been held for further review, and that the IRS was still processing them to see if they qualified for an adjustment. It’s unclear if the refund checks being reported this week are related to that specific backlog or a separate batch altogether. Reached for comment, an IRS spokesperson was unable to provide more specifics.

In the meantime, if you’re one of the lucky recipients—enjoy the cash this week. It’s yours, after all.

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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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