My US federal tax refund is taking an unusually long time to be issued this year. I e-filed my return 3.5 months ago and the IRS Refund Status page just says it is "still being processed".

The IRS has announced that certain types of 2020 returns are taking longer to process, such as those which claim an Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit. However, none of those criteria apply to my return as far as I know. I didn't claim any of those credits, I e-filed using mainstream software, I have no history of tax-related identity theft or fraud, and I believe my return was complete. So the only item on that list that could apply is "Needs further review in general" which sounds ominous.

I do have some reason to think my return might be audited, as I deducted a rather large amount for charitable contributions (yes, I have all the receipts). Should I interpret the delayed refund as a sign that I should get ready for an audit, or is it probably just unrelated?

The answer to When does the IRS generally decide whether or not to audit your tax return? say that receiving your refund on time doesn't imply that you won't be audited, but I am not sure if the converse also holds. That answer is also 7 years old and IRS procedures could have changed.


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