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Internal Revenue Service is sending refunds to more than a million Americans who filed their taxes late in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving taxpayers little time to raise money.

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Nearly 1.6 million applicants will automatically receive a refund or loan totaling $1.2 billion — an average of $750 per person.

Only a few weeks left to claim relief. In order to receive money, Americans must submit their individual tax returns until September 30, 2022

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Generally, the IRS charges individuals who file returns late without renewal a non-filing penalty of an additional 5% per month on the unpaid amount, which can be up to 25% of tax due. But the tax collection agency is waiving that fee for many individuals and businesses that file late for 2019 and 2020.


“The fine waiver issued today is another way the agency is supporting people during this unprecedented time,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said last month. “This waiver will be automatic for people or businesses that qualify; no need to call.”

Eligible tax returns include individual, corporate, estates and trusts, the IRS said. People who have been fined but have not yet paid the fine will see it removed, while those who have already paid the late fee will receive a refund or credit.

The agency said that most of the refunds will be issued by the end of September.

The announcement comes as the IRS continues to wade through a backlog of unprocessed tax returns. As of August 12, the IRS still had 9.3 million pending individual tax returns for 2022, including about 7.6 million paper returns.


A pile of backlogs arose from pandemic-related disruptions, including labor shortages, the Herculean task of administering millions of stimulus checks, and adapting to other tax changes in various countries. COVID-19 Relief Packagesfor example, increasing tax credits for children.

The IRS has set a goal of reaching “healthy” inventory levels by the end of 2022.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig

If you are still waiting for a refund, you can track its status with the IRS. Where is my return tool.