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IRS Transcript Codes – How To Decipher IRS Transcript Codes

IRS Transcript Codes – Transaction Codes on IRS Transcript 2022-2023

IRS Transcript CodesIRS Transcript Codes are made up of three digits. The codes are used to identify transactions once the IRS receives a tax return and enters it into the Master File.  Transaction codes keep track of actions posted to a taxpayer’s account as it is processed within the IRS system.

Your IRS Tax Account Transcript displays basic information like filing status, taxable income, and payment kinds. It also indicates internal routings and adjustments made after your original return was filed. This transcript is accessible from the IRS – Get Transcript Online for the current and nine preceding tax years.  You can also get a Transcript by mail or by calling 800-908-9946 for the current and three prior tax years.

Every transaction processed by automatic data processing (ADP) must contain a Transaction Code. The information resource dictionary system (IDRS) is the United States Federal Information Processing Standard used to capture metadata during a system life cycle.  IRDS-specific transaction numbers are also supplied on an IRS Account Transcript. IRS Transcript Codes serve a number of functions:

  • Maintain Accounting Controls of debits and credits.
  • Cause the computer at ECC to post the transaction on the Master File.
  • Allow report compilation.
  • Identify the transaction when a transcript is extracted from the Master File.

IRS Transaction Codes (TC) consist of three digits. They are used to identify a transaction being processed and to maintain a history of actions posted to a taxpayer’s account on the Master File. Every transaction processed by ADP must contain a Transaction Code to maintain Accounting Controls of debits and credits, to cause the computer at ECC to post the transaction on the Master File, to permit compilation of reports, and to identify the transaction when a transcript is extracted from the Master File. Transaction codes that are unique to IDRS are also included. (Source: irs.gov)

IRS Transcript Codes vs Cycle Codes

It is usually beneficial to utilize the IRS cycle code and IRS transaction codes together.  Particularly, when tracking your return status online. This gives information on the status of your return or refund as it updates during the IRS processing cycle. In the end, you want Tax Code 846 (refund issued) to appear on your transcript. This means the IRS has reviewed your return and approved your refund. The IRS routinely updates transaction codes and dates. When something is finished, updated codes and dates appear. As a result, when completion codes are listed, they can be used to estimate return dates. Returns are updated in daily and weekly batches by the IRS. Therefore, your IRS cycle code identifies which batch you are in.

What is an IRS Cycle Code?

The eight-digit tax code that appears on your account transcript is known as an IRS Cycle Code. The IRS processes and updates taxpayer returns on a regular basis. As a result, your IRS cycle code can indicate which batch you belong to. It can also notify you when your transcript information is updated, whether daily or weekly. The code is configured as an IRS internal routing structure. However, if you know what to look for, it can offer a lot of information.

The cycle code, for example, specifies when your account was submitted to the IRS Master File. As a result, finding a cycle code on your tax transcript indicates that your return has arrived at the IRS and is most likely being processed. To obtain the most accurate return or refund status, use the cycle code in conjunction with the IRS transcript codes. During the IRS processing cycle, cycle codes and transcript codes are updated and changed.

Common IRS Transcript Codes 

IRS tax transcripts, once available on your account, can be a useful source of information.  Particularly, for updates on your return and potential processing delays beyond 21 days due to other factors. You can obtain quite a bit of information that WMR/IRS2Go or even an IRS agent does not disclose.  This information is available simply by deciphering and using the transcript transaction numbers, cycle code, and descriptions. Typically, your tax transcript will update on a frequent basis during tax season.  So, use it in conjunction with the WMR/IRS2Go refund trackers, as well as any official communication or updates.

IRS Transcript Codes

  • 150 – Tax Code 150 on an IRS Transcript means the return is received, entered into the IRS master file, and is under process within the system.
  • 151 – If the code changes to Topic No. 151, it indicates you are under an audit or your return is being held for further examination. Audits are done at different levels.  For most people, an audit just means an IRS agent will check your return manually. If warranted, they will send you a letter listing discrepancies, and adjustments, or ask for payment.
  • 152Transcript code 152 usually indicates that a return is delayed and will take longer than the typical 21-day processing deadline.
  • 160 – Tax topic 160 indicates that your refund has been electronically deposited.
  • 161 – Tax topic 161 implies your refund has been mailed out to the recipient on record. When the amount of the refund (paper check or direct deposit) is different than what was expected, indicating the IRS changed the amount, a notice explaining the adjustment is mailed to your address of record.
  • 203Code 203 indicates a refund adjustment. Your IRS refund can be legally garnished for a number of reasons.  This includes past-due tax bills, child support payments, unpaid unemployment benefits, and student loan loans.
  • 290IRS Code 290 indicates additional taxes were assessed for various reasons ranging from an audit’s results to a simple math error.
  • 570Code 570 on your IRS Transcript means additional reviews are required.  As a result, your return processing and refund have been temporarily frozen.
  • 766IRS Code 766 indicates a refundable credit to your account.  This can be from an overpayment made in a prior year or a credit from the latest year’s return.
  • 768Code 768 on your IRS Transcript indicates that an Earned Income Credit has been claimed and posted to your account in the IRS Master File.
  • 846Transaction Code 846 on your IRS Transcript indicates confirmation that your federal tax refund is approved and in the process of payment.
  • 971 – Section 8 of the IRS Master File Codes lists Transaction Code 971 as a Miscellaneous Transaction. This is a catch-all designation.  It simply means that additional reviews are being undertaken or information is required. Usually, the IRS sends a notice telling you what you need to do.

IRS Transcript Codes – Reviewing Your Refund Status

The IRS recommends using specific tools to find out the status of your official government payments.  For example, the official IRS information tools like Where is My Refund (WMR)IRS2Go Mobile App, or Your IRS Online Account.  While these tools are helpful, they only provide limited information about current processing and payments.

As explained above, a useful resource is your IRS tax transcript.  This sometimes takes time to display the most recent changes.  However, it provides a lot more information in the transaction details area via the numerous tax codes. There is nothing improper about requesting your IRS Transcript – and it’s free. Further, it can provide assurance if you haven’t received an update in a while or simply want additional information. Given that it’s free, it’s worth downloading for some clarification in the event of a long delay. Obtaining your most recent free tax transcript makes sense.  Especially, if you have hit a wall or dead end with the other IRS tools and apps. Your transcript might provide you with additional information and clues about when you might receive your return.

IRS Transcript Codes – What Does N/A Mean?

Many taxpayers report seeing N/A, which stands for Not Available when attempting to retrieve the current year’s tax transcript. This can be despite the fact that they filed a return weeks ago. Naturally, this raises questions about the status of a return or refund. Furthermore, it creates uncertainty about whether the IRS has received or is processing the tax form. Seeing a N/A is primarily due to an internal IRS processing delay, especially during tax season. Every year, especially around February and March, the letter N/A appears on an IRS tax transcript.N/A merely means that your return has not been entered into the IRS master file for processing. As a result, no tax transcript updates have been generated for the current tax season.

Your transcript will load and be available overnight once your return has been assigned to a processing batch. If there are no problems with normal processing, a refund direct deposit date should be issued as well. However, if your return contains errors or updates, the processing time may be increased. Individuals who have no errors, on the other hand, should relax and not panic – nothing is wrong. When your return is due for processing by the IRS, the N/A will change to transaction code 150. This indicates that the return has been received, a file has been opened, and it has been entered into the IRS Master File.

Up Next: ACH Credit – TPG Products Deposit

TPG Products DepositA TPG Products deposit is an ACH credit transaction from an intermediary firm SBTPG LLC.  This company receives payment from the IRS on behalf of the taxpayer and withholds tax preparation and service fees. TPG Products SBTPG LLC – refers to Santa Barbara Tax Products Group.  The company offers B2B pay-by-refund services for tax preparation providers. Many taxpayers, whether individuals or small enterprises rely on tax filing software. The tax software simplifies and expedites tax return filing for Federal and State taxes. TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer, and other similar tax software and services make filing taxes straightforward.

However, some tax software and tax preparation services interface with intermediaries to deliver additional business services. TPG Products SBTPG LLC, for example, is a corporation that offers taxpayer services to tax software and preparation providers. Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (SBTPG) offers business-to-business services to companies like TurboTax and TaxSlayer.  For example, refund transfers and auto collections to collect payments from clients who choose to “pay-by-refund”.

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