What is Tax Topic 152? All you need to know

The IRS follows a set of principles and instructions for processing tax returns. These are documented in tax codes, which are subsequently used to process returns, manage mistakes, and eventually disburse refunds across numerous internal systems. 

Individual and company filers can use these codes to gain insight and share information about what is occurring with their tax return, why there are processing delays when a refund will be given, and why it was smaller than expected (offsets). 

There are many codes, but Tax Topic 152 is one of the most typical ones seen after filing a return. Once your return has been received by the IRS and is being processed or delayed for some reason, you will notice this on WMR/IRS2Go.

What is Topic 152?

Topic 152 is more of a catch-all/informational message about your refund processing timetable, and it doesn’t need the taxpayer to take any extra steps.

It simply signifies that it has received the tax return and is being processed, with approval or rejection still pending. 

If you notice this tax topic soon after your return is filed, there’s no reason to be concerned.

Many early filers who file returns at the beginning of the tax season will get this notice because of IRS backlogs and system failures in recent years, which have resulted in processing delays for no fault of the tax filer. 

While most returns are processed within 21 days, Tax Topic 152 could be an early sign that your return has been postponed for further investigation.

If you’re filing an injured spouse claim, amending your return, or claiming a refund of tax withheld, your return may be held for more than 21 days.

Once processing has progressed or an issue has been detected, the focus will shift to one of several other possible tax topics.

Read this: FileYourTaxes.com Reviews 2023: Legit or Scam | How it Works

When Should I be Concerned after Reading Tax Topic 152?

If the Tax subject turns to 151, it indicates that your return is being audited. While audits are frightening, they are done at several levels, and for most people, an audit simply means that an IRS agent will hand verify your return and give you a letter with errors, modifications, or a payment request. 

Tax Issue 148 is the one tax topic you don’t want to see because it could create a large delay in your return and the potential refund. 

This issue indicates that the tax filer has been placed on an IRS fraud alert and will be subjected to an audit followed by an Identity Fraud investigation. To get this taken care of, you’ll need to contact the IRS.

Another source of consternation for people expecting a refund is that the amount they receive is less than what they expected or was offered by their e-filing instrument. 

This is because the federal government has “offset” or deducted funds from your tax refund to cover obligations you owe to other federal agencies. 

Federal payments, such as tax returns, can be collected by permitted entities before being given to you, according to the law. 

The IRS will send you a letter explaining why your federal refund has been offset and why it differs from what was projected on your filed return. They will give you the chance to contest the collection, but you must show that you had no federal duties.

Topic 152 vs 151: What’s the Difference?

When you visit the WMR website or use the IRS2Go mobile app, you might get a notification telling you to look up IRS Tax Topic 151 or 152 about your return. But what exactly do these terms imply? 

Tax Topic 151 simply implies that you are receiving a tax offset, which may result in a smaller refund than you anticipated.

 You will receive an official IRS letter/report detailing the exact offset and adjustments to your tax return, as well as information on how to appeal this action – but it will most certainly delay your refund. 

While this isn’t ideal news, the IRS has completed your return, and your modified refund (if applicable) should be on its way soon.

Tax Topic 152, on the other hand, indicates that you will get a tax refund following IRS processing criteria (usually within 21 days) and that this communication will confirm the payment methods (direct deposit, check). 

We know how aggravating it can be to see your tax refund continue to be delayed. Our advice is to be patient, and contact a tax advocate or professional if you are unable to resolve your issue with the IRS.

Why Have my Bars Vanished from the WMR? (Tax Topic 152 no bars)

This is a technical error that occurs when the IRS website becomes overburdened with traffic and is unable to accept requests. 

If your tax Topic 152 has no bars 2023 or is likely stuck in a bar or your entire bar disappears, don’t stress or develop a headache because it signifies nothing and you will receive your refund with or without a bar.

The IRS website becoming overburdened with traffic and faltering as a result of the overload is one of the most common causes of bar disappearance or lack of bars. 

You’ll still get your return if you’ve received the Tax Refund Information Notice 152 on your tax statement, even if you’ve run out of bars or possibly only have one left.

Other Reasons Why Your Tax Return Can Be Delayed Aside Topic 152

According to the IRS, there are some other reasons why your return may be delayed:

  • Additional or periodic safety checks – especially if your filing has been linked to fraudulent activity in the past.
  • #2. Amended returns necessitate additional, manual processing, which might cause reimbursements to take up to 16 weeks to arrive.
  • Documentation or information in your return that is missing or incomplete (most online tax filing software checks for this, but manually filed returns are more at risk)
  • Incorrect bank account numbers or bank account numbers on your return
  • Some people have had their refunds not deposited when using a pre-paid card for the first time and using a middleman bank (SBBT, Republic, Bofi, etc.). This is because the middleman bank does not test deposits to ensure the account is active and correct.
  • You filed a claim on behalf of your spouse who was harmed.
  • Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) applications are attached to refund claims.

Notice: As always, keep checking the IRS’s Where Is My Refund Apps (WMR and IRS2GO) for accurate refund payment dates.

Within 24 hours of the IRS receiving your e-filed return or 4 weeks after mailing a paper return, you can start checking on the status of your refund. Return Received, Refund Approved, and Refund Sent are the three stages of the WMR apps’ tax return processing. 

Also, check this: Tax 1098 Form: Definition, Overview, Uses

What Do I Do If My Tax Return is Taking a Long Time?

There are two main reasons why the processing of your tax return takes longer than planned.

Either something is wrong with your tax return filing, such as insufficient data, additional Identity fraud/verification (details below), inaccurate social security numbers, or information from related sources (employer, ex-partner), or information from related sources (employer, ex-partner) does not add up. 

For instance, a single dependant may be claimed on many tax returns. So, here are some things you may attempt to figure out why your tax return is taking so long to arrive.

To find out the official status of your refund, use the IRS tax tool, where’s my refund (WMR), or the IRS2Go smartphone app (see estimated IRS refund schedule).

It is updated every day (overnight) and gives you the most up-to-date information on the status of your tax refund.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stated that it intends to give more than 90% of refunds to taxpayers in less than 21 days (not business days). 

Even if all of your documentation has been presented, you should usually wait at least 21 days before initiating more drastic measures. If you filed by paper, you may have to wait up to 6 weeks for a response from the IRS.

When Do I Receive My Check When Direct Deposit is Delayed or Refused?

People occasionally change their bank accounts after filing their tax returns or enter inaccurate account numbers. 

When the IRS is unable to transmit by direct deposit, they will issue a paper check. Although this will cause a delay in your return, the actual IRS processing time for a paper check is only two days longer than for direct deposit. 

Paper checks are normally mailed on Fridays, and you should get them the following Friday or sooner. 

To prevent someone from watching your mail and stealing the check, the US Postal Service normally does not distribute refund checks until Saturday morning.


Tax Topic 152 isn’t something that should get you bothered as it only means your tax return is going to take longer than expected.

There are several reasons why this can happen and it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Most times, it would rectify itself without you doing anything.

Also, you can read this: 10 Ways On How To Pay Fewer Taxes In 2023 | Insider Secret

Frequently Asked Questions About Tax Topic 152

About Tax Topic 152

It’s a generic term that just attempts to inform a user who has requested a refund that one is on the way, albeit it doesn’t specify when the refund will be issued. In general, refund information under Tax Topic 152 refers to the refund of a tax statement.

Is Tax Topic an excellent choice

Tax Topic 152 2023 is excellent because it attempts to notify a taxpayer who has applied for a refund that the claim has been approved and that the refund will be sent to the user through direct deposit, check, or letter as soon as possible.

Is the IRS Tax 152 not acceptable on your transcript?

Not at all. The IRS tax code 152 is acceptable on your transcript. Please contact your IRS representative for assistance if you have any queries. For further information, you can also speak with a tax expert. Don’t be concerned, as we already stated. Wait for the system to update for a time.

Why is the Tax Topic not responding?

Because the IRS is working on your return, it indicates it’s still being processed. To find out what occurs next, you must wait for the processing to complete. If you have any tax-related questions, you should contact an IRS official. “Your tax return is still being processed” may be the message for some of you. You can also reach out to a tax expert for assistance with any issues you may have when filing your tax return or receiving a refund.

Why is Tax Topic 152 delayed?

Tax Topic 152 does not imply that it will be altered; rather, it merely implies that your refund claim has been approved and will be processed soon, barring any unforeseen circumstances. After seeking a refund, if a user sees tax refund information from Topic 152 on their tact transcript, it appears that their request has been granted, and the message for tax Topic 152 2023 shows on their tax statement.



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