SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - "It's not fair and it's not right," says Warren Peters of Spring Valley. He says he's been watching his son, Jahmes, spend several months fighting for his federal tax return.
"People need this money. People have worked for this money. People have earned this money," says 24 year-old Jahmes.
The young man tells Team 10 that he filed online in February and received his state refund, but not his federal refund. It's now been more than 7 months. A return summary shows he's owed almost $1,200 from the IRS.
Jahmes says he's between jobs and burning through his savings. His father tries to help but says he's retired and on a fixed income, so his means are limited.
"It doesn't feel too good depending on your dad at 24-years-old," Jahmes tells Team 10.
Jahmes says he has repeatedly called, emailed and written to the IRS. He adds he was once asked to appear in-person to verify identity, which he says he completed. However, he says his efforts didn't yield clear answers from the IRS.
On the IRS website, he showed us what he says is his filing status. "Your tax return is still being processed," is what it reads. "If the circumstances were different, [the IRS] would be knocking on [our] door looking for their money," says Warren Peters.
"The IRS is just understaffed and overworked," says tax attorney Ronson Shamoun, CEO of Downtown San Diego's RJS Law Firm. He says long delays are not uncommon. "Yet, after it's been so long, there should be some indication as to what's going on or some sort of game plan as to what you can do."
Shamoun says the best route to take is contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which was created by Congress to facilitate aid for taxpayers dealing with related issues.
The IRS website reports that most refunds are issued in less than 21 calendar days, but explains there are a number of reasons for delays, including possible errors, incomplete returns, and concerns about identity theft or fraud.
The IRS says it cannot respond to media inquiries about specific cases.
"He does have a right to be upset. He definitely does," says Shamoun.