We spoke with a local economic expert who told me the IRS has been backed up processing a lot this year, but this kind of wait time is unusual.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Many of our Western Mass News viewers continue to reach out wondering when their tax returns will finally hit their bank account.

We spoke with a local economic expert who said the IRS has been backed up processing a lot this year, but this kind of wait time is unusual.

A Western Mass News viewer reached out looking for an update on why she still hasn't gotten her tax refund four months after filing, saying in a part quote:

"If they are that busy, how is it the child care money went out?...This money would really come in handy, please get the answers for myself and the many others who are in the same spot."

Western Mass News took these concerns to local economics expert Karl Petrick.

"So I know at the end of this tax filing season, there were 35 million people still waiting for their tax return," said Petrick, an economics professor.

He said the majority of those are people who filed by paper, which takes longer. He said 15.8 million were suspended for review and another 2.7 million were amended returns. That's all three times as many than 2020.

"So the IRS is really struggling with the sheer number," Petrick said.

He said part of the issue is that the Internal Revenue Service has a significantly larger number of unemployment filings to handle this year.

But he says payments are still going out.

"Just last week 4 million people got a payment," Petrick said.

He said the child care tax credit that was recently deposited into bank accounts across the nation is something new they've never had to do before, which could be another part of the reason as to why they're backed up.

"In the law, the child tax credit had to start now," Petrick said.

Western Mass News also getting answers from State Representative Orlando Ramos on the possibility of a sales tax holiday weekend turning into a two-month-long event starting August 1st. This would take the annual tax-free weekend from two to more than 60 days. He said legislatures could discuss the idea next week.

"In terms of having a like a weekend as we've had in the past, I would absolutely support that," said Rep. Ramos.

He said more discussion on the idea is needed, but two months might be too much.

"We have to discuss what the opportunity cost is to that and what other initiatives we can support that would have more benefits as the alternative to a month-long to two-month-long tax-free initiative," said Rep. Ramos.

To check the status of your refund, head to the IRS' website. Western Mass News will follow any developments next week on the status of a tax-free plan.

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