Advertiser Disclosure

What Does Tax Topic 152 Mean?

Written by Allison Martin

Allison Martin is a personal finance enthusiast and a passionate entrepreneur. With over a decade of experience, Allison has made a name for herself as a syndicated financial writer. Her articles are published in leading publications, like, Bankrate, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, and Investopedia. When she’s not busy creating content, Allison travels nationwide, sharing her knowledge and expertise in financial literacy and entrepreneurship through interactive workshops and programs. She also works as a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) dedicated to helping people from all walks of life achieve financial freedom and success.

Updated June 5, 2023​

2 min. read​

Have you recently filed your tax return and are expecting a refund? If you used the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website to inquire about the status of your refund and instead received a message saying “Refer to Tax Topic152” you may be wondering what it means.

In this guide, we’ll discuss Tax Topic 152, what it means for your refund and other reasons your refund could be delayed.

Loading... Loading...

What Is Tax Topic 152

Tax Topic 152 is a reference code taxpayers see if their return is under review and could take a bit longer to be processed. It does not indicate a significant issue or error with your tax return or that you may not receive a refund, so there’s no need to panic.

IRS Refund Timing

On average, 9 out of 10 refunds are processed within 21 days, notes However, there could be processing delays in these instances:

  • You file an amended return. Before COVID-19, refunds tied to amended returns were issued within 16 weeks. However, the processing time for amended returns is now greater than 20 weeks, so your refund could be delayed.
  • You file a tax return by using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
  • You file an injured spouse claim.
  • You request a refund of tax withholding from Form 1042-S using Form 1040-NR. It could take up to six months from the due date of your 1040-NR return to receive your refund.
  • Your return contains an error.

IRS Topic No. 303 (Checklist of Common Errors When Preparing Your Tax Return) contains a comprehensive list of errors that could delay the processing of your tax return.

IRS Topic 152 FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding IRS Topic No. 152:

Should you worry about Tax Topic 152?

No need to panic if your tax transcript is annotated with Tax Topic 152. Instead, wait patiently to see if it’s removed or contact the IRS if: you received a notice that your e-filed return was accepted more than 21 days ago, you mailed a paper return to the IRS over six weeks ago, and the notice still appears, or you’re prompted to call the IRS directly when you access the status of your return using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

What does it mean if Topic 152 disappears?

The IRS 152 Notice could vanish if the IRS processes your tax return and you’re assigned a date to receive your refund. However, to get an updated status on your tax return, you can always reach out to the IRS following the 21-day or 6-week waiting period for e-filed or paper returns, respectively.

Does Tax Topic 152 mean you will get a refund soon?

Not necessarily. It simply means that your tax return is under further review by the IRS, and it could take more than the standard 21-day window for it to be processed.

Why is your refund still being processed?

A delay in processing times doesn’t necessarily mean an issue with your tax return. However, you can contact the IRS directly if you have concerns or if several weeks have passed and the status of your return remains in the “Where’s My Refund?” dashboard.

Loading... Loading...

Advertisement Disclosure

Product name, logo, brands, and other trademarks featured or referred to within are the property of their respective trademark holders. This site may be compensated through third party advertisers. The offers that may appear on’s website are from companies from which may receive compensation. This compensation may influence the selection, appearance, and order of appearance of the offers listed on the website. However, this compensation also facilitates the provision by of certain services to you at no charge. The website does not include all financial services companies or all of their available product and service offerings.