Thought I'd share my particularly frustrating case for the 2017 tax year:
I got a letter, 4883c, indicating that I needed to talk to the IRS and answer some questions in order to get my refund released as they needed to verify that I am who I say I am (despite the fact that this is the 3rd consecutive year I've filed at this address with the same listed persons on my return).
Upon completing that requirement on 4/24, I was told to allow 9 weeks for receipt of my refund and to use the "convenient" IRS.gov app to check on my status. So feature rich is this app that each time you inquire, you are reassured that "you're return is still being processed and a date for your refund will be provided when available". App of the year, truly.
With 9 weeks and 2 days having lapsed and still no sign of the refund, nor any indication of when it can be expected, I called the IRS this morning. I had to misrepresent the subject of my inquiry amid the menu options in order to avoid being routed to an automated response which provides the same helpful information that the hyper-useful app provides.
Upon reaching an actual person, they agreed that something seems amiss as I satisfied the 4883c requirement and 9 weeks later, still no refund. Though there is apparently no specific indication of it in my file, the agent was knowledgeable enough to identify that the refund amount is evidently over the limit of the maximum allowed for direct deposit (which is $10,000 - I suspect this is a dated threshold as I recall some 15 years ago that $10k was the threshold for investment size at which the IRS takes notice; maybe it's too much to expect the IRS to adjust their systems to inflation). If only the agent I had spoken to in April could have identified this. In fact, on that call, I recall being asked if I wanted to keep the medium as check or direct deposit. I was told that the former would be slower (and obviously more cumbersome), thus I obviously selected the latter.
So now the matter is referred to some department called "Integrity Verification" (an ominous name, to be sure) but the agent assured me that the matter should be resolved after another 60 days. He seemed nice enough but so did the previous agent and no level of competency demonstrated by agents is enough for me to restore faith in the organization as a whole, who clearly would have been happy for me to have received the "your return is being processed" message in perpetuity. So, now I get to nervously monitor the daily mail delivery for a sizeable check for 2 months and feel somewhat tethered to my mailbox for the summer months.
Hoping others can learn from my case and avoid similar aggravation.
I have been going through basically the same situation. I actually filed Feb 1. Same letter. I answered to no avail. I called the IRS 3 times. I was told they were directing my issue to a department that would release the refund. That was over 90 days ago. Now they say that they will have until July 16th, and if the funds are not released and deposited into my account that I will need to call back and a tax advocate will be assigned to me. My refund is not $10,000. I have no idea why this is happening and can't get anyone to answer why. I am beyond frustrated, as they would have no problem charging me interest if I had to pay and was delinquent. I feel I should earn interest on how long they are holding my funds. Thank you for your input.
My refund showed up today, via direct deposit. A most curious result considering the agent seemed the think the reason it had not come through is due to a threshold limit of $10k for direct deposit. So, I have no explanation as to why it got held up or if the $10k threshold had anything to do with the delays. Hoping you've had similar luck in the meantime but thought I'd share an update. Agreed - we should get interest on prolonged withholding cases like this, ridiculous double-standard.