IRS: 'Where's My Refund?' Glitch Won't Affect Refunds

Though the IRS's  "Where's My Refund?" tool is temporarily down, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service says that it will not impact the processing of tax returns or issuing tax refunds.

A spokeswoman said the message indicating technical difficulties has only been up since the afternoon. It reads:  "We're having some technical difficulties right now but expect to have this resolved soon. We apologize for the inconvenience."

She said she could not comment about the cause of the glitch.

A second, unrelated, message on the website has been on the site since Friday, which reads:

Update: We are aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit "Where's My Refund" and are told that we have no information regarding their return. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit "Where's My Refund."

That the technical difficulties will not impact processing will be a relief to those who have filed early in the hope of receiving a large refund, often low and moderate-income workers, said Timothy Flacke, executive director of the nonprofit group, Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund.

He said tax-filers who qualify for the earned income tax credit, or EITC, typically are aware they will receive large refunds and rush to complete their returns in late January or early February.

"Whether it's $2,000 or $3,000, they have a sense a windfall is coming," he said. "Whereas middle America thinks tax time is a pain, lower income communities look forward to it."

Flacke said that in these communities, even before Jan. 1, tax preparers begin marketing their services, so they can be used as early as possible.

Based in Allston, Mass., D2D Fund makes financial products for low and moderate income consumers and raised awareness to encourage Americans to invest a part of their tax return without fees through  The Tax Time Savings Bond Campaign.

About 45,000 Americans have saved $11 million in U.S. Savings Bonds with a portion of their tax refund, for an average of $244 per family, according to the D2D Fund.

There were more than 112 million individual income tax returns filed through e-file last year, according to the IRS, an increase of 13.6 percent over the previous year.