A month ago (for the fourth time) I had checked IRS,gov for my refund status and it said that the return was still being being processed. (I had filed online via Free Fillable Forms.) Today, the website refused to “recognize” me – regarding the refund – even though I triple checked spellings and numbers. Then I tried to log into Free Fillable Forms using last years credentials and it again did not recognize me. (No such account exists.) How worried should I be? Possible identity theft? What should be my next step? (I did set up a new Free Fillable Forms account using a different email address.)
A combination of funding cuts and covid have left the IRS severely understaffed and with a large backlog of unprocessed returns. They also have outdated computer equipment. Hard to say whether you need to be concerned about identity theft. For more information you can visit their Identity Theft Central page. I suspect you’ll need to talk with someone on the phone, but you can probably knit a sweater in the time it takes to get through to someone. If you try this, be sure to have identifying information available, such as adjusted gross income on your previous return, in case they need to confirm who they’re talking to.