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Tax Topic 152 – Where’s My Refund?

Tax Topic 152 – Where’s My Refund?

Tax Topic 152Tax Topic 152 (TC 152) is an IRS code usually indicating that a return is delayed and will take longer than the typical 21-day processing deadline. There are dozens of codes and topics, but one of the most common ones seen after filing a return is Tax Topic 152 (TC 152). The IRS handles tax returns in accordance with a set of standards and instructions. These are formalized into tax codes.  These codes are used throughout multiple internal systems to process returns, manage mistakes, and ultimately pay refunds. The codes are simplified for individual and business tax filers.  They are designed to provide insight and information about what is currently happening with taxpayers’ tax returns.  For example, why there are processing delays when a refund will be paid.  Or, why the refund amount is lower than planned (offsets).

Tax Topic 152 is a general or informational message on the timetable and potential delays for refund processing. This appears on WMR/IRS2Go once a return has been received by the IRS.  It indicates the return is being processed or delayed for some reason.  Initially, the tax filer is not required to take any other actions. However, if the IRS completes processing, the updated message and code may have various ramifications.  For example, setting the expectation that your return may be delayed for a variety of reasons.

Tax Topic 152 – Should I worry?

There is no need to be concerned about this tax topic message code.  Particularly, if you notice it soon after filing your return. Many early filers submit returns at the outset of tax season.  Sometimes, they receive this message as a warning because of IRS backlogs, PATH delays, and system faults.  In recent years, the message indicates there are processing delays that are not the tax filer’s responsibility. Nevertheless, most returns are processed within 21 days.  However, Tax Topic 152 may be an early indicator that your return has been held for further review.  As a result, it may take longer than the typical 21-day processing schedule.

Returns may be held for more than 21 days for a variety of reasons.  For example, if you file an injured spouse claim, file an amended return, or request a refund of tax withheld. Once processing is completed or an issue is detected, the tax topic will change to identify a new status.  This could be one of several other possible tax topics.  After reprocessing, you should receive your refund within 10 to 14 days. Tax Topic 846 on your transcript will show payment, as well as your WMR status changing to refund paid.

Tax Topic 152 – What Happens Next?

Usually, when you receive the topic 152 message you will receive your tax refund within the next 10-14 days. Topic 152 is a general code that the IRS uses to tell the status of a category of refunds. Once processing is completed or an issue is detected, the tax topic will change to identify a new status.

  • 150Tax 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.
  • 160 – Tax topic 160 indicates that your refund has been electronically deposited.
  • 161Tax 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.
  • 171 –  CP171 reminds you about the amount you owe in tax, penalty, and interest. Read the notice carefully. It explains how much money you owe on your taxes.

Tax Topic 152 – Checking Your Refund Status

You can start checking on the status of your refund within the following timeframes:

  • 24 hours – after e-filing the tax year 2021 return
  • 3 or 4 days – after e-filing the tax year 2019 or 2020 return
  • Up to 6 months – If you filed on paper, it could take 6 months or more

Online or Mobile Device

Where’s My Refund? has the most up-to-date information available about your refund. Use it to get your personalized refund status. The tool is updated once a day, so you don’t need to check more often. You can also download a free mobile app, IRS2Go, from an iPhone or Android device to check Where’s My Refund?

Refund Timing

The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in the normal time frame of fewer than 21 days. However, it’s possible that some tax returns may require further review and could take longer. IRS representatives can research the status of your return only if:

  • It’s been more than 21 days since you received your e-file acceptance notification,
  • It’s been more than 6 months since you mailed your paper return, or
  • The Where’s My Refund? tool says we can provide more information to you over the phone

Your Appeal Rights

The IRS will send you a report and/or letter that will explain the proposed adjustments or proposed or taken collection action. The correspondence also tells you of your right generally to request a conference with an Appeals or Settlement Officer, as well as how to make your request for a conference. In addition to examination adjustments, many other things can be appealed, such as penalties, interest, trust fund recovery penalties, liens, levies, and offers in compromise. If you request an Appeals conference, be prepared to support your position with records and documentation. Appeals conferences are informal meetings. You may represent yourself or have an attorney, accountant, or other individual authorized to practice before the IRS represent you. If you don’t reach an agreement with the Appeals or Settlement Officer or you don’t wish to appeal within the IRS, you may appeal certain actions through the courts. (Source:

Up Next: Pool Taxes – Does an Inground Pool Increase Property Taxes?

Pool TaxesWhile there are no direct pool taxes, an inground pool increases a property’s value In turn, this indirectly raises property taxes and insurance rates.

In-ground pools tend to enhance property values, which in turn raises property taxes. The type of swimming pool you have as well as its current condition have an impact on the overall worth of your house. Moreover, in-ground pools frequently necessitate higher insurance coverage limits, which raises homeowner’s insurance prices. Additionally, the expense of an in-ground pool raises your property’s basis.  This may increase your taxable gain when you sell the home.

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