You’ve filed your tax return and are expecting a tax refund. Congratulations! Now, you want to know when to expect your refund. Generally, if you e-file and use direct deposit, the IRS estimates that you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 14 days after they accept your return (i.e. the IRS does not send you a notification requesting additional information or an audit notice). The IRS issues more than 90 percent of refunds within 21 days.
If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week. If your return was filed by mail, then your refund can take up to 6 weeks from the date the IRS receives a complete and accurate return. Once your return is accepted by the IRS, the IRS processes your refund based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart. Exact refund dates are based on IRS processing times and can be found in IRS Publication 2043 and IRS Topic 152 for both e-filed and mailed returns.
To find out online when the IRS currently expects to issue your refund, check the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool which is updated every Wednesday. You’ll need to provide the following information from your tax return : social security number, filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund. If you have an iPhone, download MyTaxRefund, a free iPhone App from TurboTax that allows you to check the status of your refund on your smart phone. [See this article for the average 2012 refund size]
Should I call the IRS if I haven’t received my refund?
Unfortunately calling the IRS won’t do anything to speed your refund since their call center staff are not the ones who process the (over 140 million) tax returns. The best option is still to use check the “Where’s My Refund” page or IRS2Go application.
When to Expect Your State Tax Refund
State refunds are processed by each individual state, so processing times will vary. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date. To get the current status of your state tax refund, contact your state tax agency or search online for your state’s taxation website.
I’m not going to be able to file my taxes in time. What should I do? If you can’t make that mid April deadline for filing your taxes then file an extension. The IRS says it received requests for 11 million extensions, which amounts to about 8% of all tax returns. Taxpayers who ask for an extension get an extra six months to file—your new deadline will be in mid October. However you still need to make any expected tax liability payments. See this article for more details and restrictions on filing an extension.