Why Hasn't the IRS Accepted My Income Taxes?

Your income taxes must be filed by the April deadline set by the Internal Revenue Service each year. You can file your taxes online using a tax service website or software, visit a paid preparer's office, or use fill-in tax forms and mail the return to the IRS. Problems can arise with the submission and acceptance of your return by the IRS no matter what filing method you chose. Delays do not have to be scary. Most times, they will be due to small errors that you can easily fix.


You Have Wrong Personal Information

The IRS has a master file containing your personal information, such as Social Security number and birth date, as received on prior year tax returns. Your current return must contain the same information when filed, otherwise the electronic or paper return submission will not be accepted by the IRS. You can contact the IRS if you were using the wrong Social Security number or birth date on previous returns to correct the issue.

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A person who filed his taxes before you and used your Social Security number on accident can result in the rejection of your return if his return was accepted. So if you are wondering, "Why hasn't the IRS accepted my return yet?", this is the obvious place to start.


Failed to Complete a Form

An incomplete form can result in a delay or rejection of your return. Filing your return through an online service or tax software may result in the program warning you about an incomplete form, and you must double-check paper forms before mailing to make sure all forms are complete.

Dependent Has Already Been Claimed

A dependent for tax purposes, such as a child or immediate relative you care for and have the right to claim on your tax return under IRS regulations, can only be claimed by one taxpayer per year. Should another taxpayer who claimed the same person file before you, your return will not be accepted by the IRS.


You can dispute the claiming of your dependent by another person by filing a return in dispute. You must file on paper, attach an explanation and submit supporting documentation to the IRS.

Consider also​: Claiming Dependents for Your Taxes

Typos and Misspellings

It is unlikely that a small misspelling of an item that is easily identified will result in the IRS rejecting your form. However, the IRS does require you to follow a stringent set of rules. If something does not match up the IRS has on file or there is an obvious mistake on your taxes, they may send the form back to you for correction, which you can do on the paper form or through your tax submission software.


As H&R Block reports, there is no need for you to worry. As long as you make the corrections within ​five days​, the IRS considers that you have filed your return on time.

Consider also​: What if I Made a Mistake on my Taxes?

W-2 Is Incorrect

Incorrect amounts on your W-2 forms can cause a delay to your taxes accepted date or result in a rejection of your return. The employer's Employer Identification Number must match the number contained in the IRS database. You can contact your employer for a corrected W-2 form if you encounter filing problems due to the form's information.


Delays in IRS Operations

Sometimes, the delay in accepting your tax return is nothing to do with you and everything to do with resourcing at the IRS. If the service is under-resourced for any reason, such as having a large number of staff sick, there almost certainly will be a backlog of cases and this will result in delays – especially for special cases such as those requiring correction.

The IRS has a dedicated web page that notifies tax payers of current processing timelines. This is the first place to check if you are experiencing delays.

Consider also​: IRS Delays 2020 Personal Tax Return Filing Deadline to May 17