Thousands of people are still owed a tax refund worth $3,200 - I'm a tax expert - what can you do?

As the IRS works to resolve months-long delays, millions of taxpayers have been anxiously awaiting their refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) still has 8.2 million unprocessed individual tax returns as of July 1.

According to IRS data, the average tax refund this year is $3,263.

According to tax experts, paper returns have always taken a few weeks, but those weeks are now months.

Labor shortages have contributed to the long wait time.

Tax prep firm Jackson Hewitt chief information officer Mark Steber told WCPO News the IRS is facing 

The same staffing shortages as many other businesses, which means fewer people to review and approve tax returns.

A majority of the 17 million people who file on paper each year do so voluntarily.

In some cases, however, past issues, such as identity theft, force them to file this way.

"Where's My Refund?" is a tool created by the IRS to help people track their refunds.

How to speed up the process

Check on your refund if it's been more than four weeks. If it's been several months and you still haven't received it, there may be a bigger issue.

You may want to consult a tax professional at this point who can check the status of the return and provide some insight.

If you receive notices from the IRS that may help solve the issue, keep an eye on your mailbox.

After the filing deadline, the IRS has 45 days to process and send returns.

Earning interest

During this time period, daily compound interest will be added by the IRS.

As of July 1, the IRS announced increased interest rates for the calendar quarter.

There will be an increase in rates for taxpayers from 4% to 5% - but that rate is taxable, so you will not see the full increase.

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