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Indy couple gets $10K in tax refunds after WRTV Investigates gets involved

Charles and Elisa Morgan asked for help
Charles and Elisa Morgan of Rocky Ripple say they're still owed $10,000 in tax refunds, tax credits and stimulus payments.
Posted at 7:00 AM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 14:04:44-04

UPDATE: On August 25, the Morgans received $9,862 in their bank account from the federal government, which includes their 2019 and 2020 tax returns.

"I almost lost my mind when I checked my account this morning," said Charles. "Thank you so much for all you did to help expedite this process."

The couple says a taxpayer advocate informed them the $9,862 includes their stimulus checks and child tax credit.

INDIANAPOLIS— An Indianapolis couple says the federal government owes them more than $10,000 in tax refunds, stimulus payments and tax credits.

Charles and Elisa Morgan of Rocky Ripple reached out to WRTV Investigates for help in getting their money.

For the Morgans and many central Indiana families, making ends meet during the pandemic has not been easy.

“A big chunk of our income was gone,” Elisa said. “There were some rough patches last year.”

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Adding to their stress, the couple said they’re still waiting on both their 2019 and 2020 tax refunds, even though they filed both electronically.

They’ve found it difficult to get through to the IRS, and when they do reach a representative, they don’t get any updates.

“They've given us no more information than what the IRS website gives us which is very generic,” Charles said. "It says ‘Your tax refund is still being processed. A refund date will be provided when available.'”

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And that’s not all that’s missing, according to the Morgans.

Two stimulus payments have not arrived, plus Charles and Elisa have a daughter together and are due their child tax credit.

In all, the Morgans say they’re owed more than $10,000 in tax refunds, credits and stimulus payments.

“It's a new car that we've been needing, it’s things we really need around the house,” Charles said.

It’s not clear what is causing the problem.

“We haven’t had any major life changes,” Elisa said.

The situation has impacted the family financially and emotionally.

“To just not know, it's so frustrating and stressful and to get answers that's all we ask,” Charles said. “If we can't get the money right away, that's fine, we just want to know."

WRTV Investigates connected the Morgans with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that helps resolve problems.

“I spoke to Mr. Morgan and the Taxpayer Advocate Service is now assisting him with resolving the problem he is experiencing with the processing of the tax returns,” a TAS representative told WRTV. “I apologize for any inconvenience Mr. Morgan is having."

The Morgans are not alone.

PREVIOUS | Historically high number of taxpayers have not received refunds, report finds

A historically high number of taxpayers have still not received their tax refunds, the National Taxpayer Advocate announced today in its mid-year report to Congress.

It’s a problem WRTV Investigates has been tracking more for more than a year—Indiana taxpayers having trouble filing their tax returns and receiving their 2019 and 2020 tax refunds.

At the conclusion of the filing season the IRS faced a backlog of over 35 million individual and business income tax returns that require manual processing.

That means an IRS employee needs to take some sort of action before a return can advance to the next stage in the processing pipeline.

The backlog includes about 16.8 million paper tax returns waiting to be processed; about 15.8 million returns suspended during processing that require further review; and about 2.7 million amended returns awaiting processing, the taxpayer advocate found.

"We're working hard to get through the backlog. Please don't file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return,” the IRS said in a statement to WRTV Investigates.

The backlog resulted largely from the pandemic-related evacuation order that restricted employee access to IRS facilities, said the advocate.

PREVIOUS | Indiana taxpayers frustrated with refund delays | Some taxpayers still waiting on 2019 refunds

The IRS received a record volume of telephone calls this tax filing season, but only 7% of callers reached an IRS representative on the accounts management lines, the report said.

The IRS says you may see a delay if your return:

  • Includes errors
  • Is incomplete
  • Is affected by identity theft or fraud
  • Includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit. See Q&A below.
  • Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process
  • Needs further review in general
  • Includes errors
  • Is incomplete
  • Is affected by identity theft or fraud
  • Includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit. See Q&A below.
  • Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process
  • Needs further review in general

The Morgans said they did apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit, but it’s not clear if that’s causing a delay.

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