What is tax topic 152?

The IRS uses tax topics to organize tax returns and share information with taxpayers. You can receive a Tax Topic 152 alert by checking the status of your tax return through the Tax Topic 152 tool on the IRS website.

For the query, you should enter the “Where is my refund?” section, and you may see a message stating, “Check Tax Topic 152“. To better understand this topic, I invite you to read on carefully to learn more about it.

Why does the Reference code Tax Topic 152 appear?

Topic 152 is a reference code that may appear to some taxpayers when accessing the IRS refund status tool. Unlike other codes, it does not require any additional steps on the taxpayer’s part.

According to statistics maintained by the IRS, 9 out of 10 tax refunds are processed in less than 21 days. However, if the return requires additional review, it could take 21 days.

Remember that the Tax Topic will not indicate that a mistake was made or something was wrong in filing the return. It is simply a code that means that the return is being processed and has not yet been approved or rejected.

Reasons why a tax return may take a long time to be processed

There are different reasons why a tax return may take a little longer to process and cause it to be referred to as Tax Topic 152. The most common reasons we come across for this will be:

  • Making an injured spouse claim.
  • ITIN application is attached.
  • Refunds on amended returns, in which case the refund will be received within 16 weeks of filing.
  • Requesting a refund of taxes withheld on Form 1042-S with filing a Form 1040-NR. In these cases, refunds are received within six months of filing.

What to do to avoid delays in tax refunds?

So that there are no delays, before filling out the tax application, you should have all the necessary information at hand. Among these will be:

  • Income forms you received, such as the W-2 or 1099.
  • Form to report health insurance coverage such as Form 1095.
  • Last year’s tax return and tax identification number.
  • Personal identification information for your spouse and any dependents.
  • Identity Protection PIN in case the IRS issues one.

All information related to unearned income, credits, deductions, and child care costs or charitable contributions should also be on hand. It is important not to guess any amounts filled in the form but to keep careful financial records to avoid errors and delays.

It will also be important to double-check the information on the return, making sure it is correct and complete.

What is Tax Topic 303?

This is another reference code that you may see when tracking your refund. This code does refer to errors in the information entered on the return. Common mistakes that trigger this message include:

  • Incorrect or illegible name, address, zip code, ITIN.
  • Incorrect marital status or dependent declaration.
  • Missing names or ITINs of those listed on the return.
  • Wrong calculations for deductions or credits.
  • Wrong tax tables were used.
  • No signature or date.
  • Incorrect or missing security protection PIN on the return.
  • An incorrect bank or routing number was provided for direct deposit refunds.

For cases where a message is received indicating any Tax Topic 152 situation, there is no need to panic. The refund will most likely continue to be processed, although it may take a little longer than expected.

But, if a Tax Topic 303 is received, the refund will not continue until clarification is made of any inconsistencies that may be present on your tax return.

When can I check the status of my refund?

If you would like to speak with an IRS representative to verify the status of your refund, this can only be done under the following conditions:

  • More than 21 days must have elapsed since your e-file acceptance notification was received.
  • More than six weeks have elapsed since you sent your paper return.
  • You are instructed to contact the IRS directly in the “Where are my refund?” tools.

These are the cases in which you can contact the IRS directly and receive full advice on the status of your tax refund.