Tax Topic 152: (Will I Still Get My Tax Refund?)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) follows a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) while processing tax returns.

These SOPs and procedures are documented in tax codes and laws, which are then used for processing returns, managing mistakes, and eventually disbursing refunds through various internal processes.

Individual and company filers can use these codes to gain insight and share information about what’s occurring with their tax return, why they experience delays in processing, when the refund will be issued, or why it was less than anticipated.

There are many codes and subjects, but Tax Topic 152 (TC 152) is one of the most commonly encountered after a return is filed.

When your return is received by the IRS and is being processed or for some reason it is delayed, this is what you commonly see on WMR.

Tax Topic 152 is more of an all-purpose /informative message about the refund processing timetable and possible delays. At this time, the tax filer does not need to perform any other procedures/tasks.

However, if the processing of IRS is completed, it might have a number of ramifications, including the possibility of a delay in your return (as a result of a number of reasons). Let’s discuss what tax topic 152 is.

What is Tax Topic 152?

Tax Topic 152 reference code that is used to check if the return is being reviewed and will take longer to process. There’s no need to do more work and worry about it.

It’s because it doesn’t mean there’s a major problem or fault with the tax return or that there won’t be a refund. It simply implies that your return is currently in the process of being processed and has not yet been authorized or denied.

The Internal Revenue Service claims that 9 out of 10 tax returns are completed within the standard 21-day time frame. However, if there is a reference to Tax Topic 152 in the return, it may need to be reviewed again, which could take longer than the usual 21 days.

Should I be concerned if my (Where is My Refund-WMR) shows Tax Topic 152?

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

Related article  Ultimate Guide To Getting Gusto Pay Stubs and W2s For a Current and Former Employee

Returns filed by the early filers at the beginning of the tax season received this warning as a result of IRS backlogs, PATH delays, and system issues in recent years, which have resulted in processing delays because of no fault of the taxpayer.

Although, usually returns are handled within 21 days, Tax Topic 152 may be an early warning sign, that your return is being held for further investigation and may take longer than the typical 21-day processing schedule.

If you’re filing for an injured spouse claim, amending your return, or claiming a refund of tax withheld, your return may be kept for more than 21 days. The moment processing has progressed or an issue has been detected, the tax topic will shift to one of a number of other possible tax issues.

Your refund should be received in 10 to 14 days once your tax return processing has resumed. Your transcript will show payment for Tax Topic 846, as well as your WMR status changing to refund paid.

What occurs following the processing of Tax Topic 152?

If the Tax subject switches to 152, it signifies your return is being audited or is being held for additional review.

While audits are frightening, they are done at several levels, and for most people, an audit simply means that an IRS agent will verify your return and give you a letter with errors, modifications, or a request for payment. At this point, you’ll also find tax codes 420 or 424 on your tax transcript.

Tax Issue 148 is one of those tax topics you would never want to see because it could create a large delay in your return and the potential refund.

This subject denotes that the taxpayer is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for fraud and is being audited, followed by an examination of their identity or a false return.

Related article  Ultimate Guide to Getting Bank of America Pay Stubs and W2s For a Current and Former Employee

Why is it possible that processing my tax return will take longer?

If you haven’t received your refund after 21 days, it’s possible that your tax return needs to be reviewed again. If your return was incomplete or inaccurate, this would be its result.

If the IRS needs further information to process your return, it may give you instructions by mail.

There are various reasons why actually your tax return may take longer than usual to process and you may be sent to Tax Topic 152 as a result. Among the causes for this are the following.

When do you see topic 152 in your tax return?

Following are the circumstances that are included in those causes:

  1. Creating a claim for an injured spouse.
  2. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)’s application is attached for claiming the refunds.
  3. Refunds for returns that have been altered (Within 16 weeks’ time frame of filing, you should receive your refund)
  4. Filing a Form 1040-NR to request a refund of taxes withheld on Form 1042-S (it could take more than six months to process the return).
  5. Missing or insufficient documentation or information on your tax return (The majority of internet tax software do check for this, but manually submitted returns are more vulnerable to this problem).
  6. On your tax return, you have the wrong bank account numbers
  7. Ongoing or the additional security checks, most importantly if your submission has previously been related to fraudulent conduct.

How long does the Internal Revenue Service take to complete a tax return?

Once you’ve completed your paper tax return and ensured it’s error-free, the IRS will issue your refund six to eight weeks after they have received your return.

On the other hand, if you electronically file the return, it should take less than three weeks to process the return.

However, if there is tax topic 152, the time required for the processing will increase. Further, the status of the return changes as the IRS works on it. And you may also see the message “still processing”.

Related article  Ultimate Guide to Getting Boeing Pay Stubs and W2s For a Current and Former Employee

However, if there are some complications in the tax filing process, consider contacting an expert for advising you on the concerns and confusion. They can advise on your customized issues and help ensure to handle the situation professionally.


If you see tax topic 152 on your tax return, it does not mean that you will not be able to receive the tax refund. It simply means that your tax return will take more time than usual.

This may be due to the fact that there are some items on your tax return that require some more time for processing. So, you are not required to do anything in such circumstances.

The normal time for the return processing is 6-8 weeks for paper filing. However, if you have filed an electronic return, it should take less than three weeks.

However, if the tax code 152 appears on the return, it will take more time than usual.

There are multiple reasons that lead to the appearance of tax topic 152. These reasons include but are not limited to creating a claim for the injured wife, altered refunds, insufficient documentation, wrong banking details, and multiple other reasons.

Frequently asked questions

How tax refund can be claimed?

You need to apply applicable rules and regulations in the process of tax calculations. List all of your incomes, apply the taxes, and deduct tax already paid at sources.

So, if your net tax paid is more than the tax liability, it’s called a tax refund and can be claimed by filing a tax return.

If you see tax I52, does it mean IRS is conducting a fraud review?

It does not necessarily mean fraud review. It just means IRS is reviewing your return for complicated stuff. So, you should not be worried, if you have not conducted some fraud.

What should I do if I see tax code 152 in my return?

Be calm, there is no need to panic. It’s a normal procedure. However, if there is some more complication consider consulting a tax expert.