[Updated for 2016 Tax Season Refund] The IRS has forecast marginally lower for the average American filer thanks to the expiration of a number of tax breaks and due a decrease in unemployment. The average tax refund in 2014 was $3,034. It was $2,800 in 2015. So far in 2016, the IRS has issued more than 102 million tax refunds out of 140 million total individual returns processed, with the average refund well over $2,700.
Generally, if you e-file and use direct deposit, the IRS estimates that you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 21 days after they accept your return, unless the IRS does not send you a notification requesting additional information or an audit notice). The IRS has stated that it issues more than 90 percent of refunds within 21 days (see estimated refund schedule).
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 4 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 or IRS2Go mobile application which is updated every night (3am to 6am EST) 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.
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. See this article for how the IRS WMR and IRS2Go works and what each status means. If you do need to talk to a real IRS agent, this article contains some useful numbers based on what has worked for others.
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. See the table for some standard state refund processing times. Processing begins when the return is received and ends when we post the refund to your account. I will update as states release their latest processing cycle times.
Latest update : The IRS is conducting significantly more ID verification checks to deal with the increase in online tax fraud, which is also causing state tax agencies to add additional security measures resulting in delays in state tax refunds. For example, Hawaii’s taxpayers could see state refunds delayed, while a number of states are telling tax payers not to expect refund before March 1st.
|State||E-FILED Return, Refund Processing Time||PAPER Filed Return, Refund Processing Time||State Refund Check Site|
|California (CA)||7 - 10 days||8 - 12 weeks||CA Check Your Refund|
|New York (NY)||Up to 3 weeks||Up to 6 weeks||NYC Refund Checker|
|Maryland (MD)||Within 1 week||~ 30 days to process||MD Refund Checker|
|Illinois (IL)||2-3 weeks, not before Mar 30th||6 to 8 weeks, not before Mar 30th||IL Refund Checker|
|Virginia (VA)||Within 1 week||Up to 4 weeks||VA Refund Checker|
|Utah (UT)||7 to 21 days||Up to 90 days||UT Refund Checker|
|Georgia (GA)||30-45 business days||Up to 6 weeks||GA WMR Site|
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.
2013 tax refund data (for tax returns filed in 2014) – The IRS has published its latest statistics to date and it shows that tax filers are getting higher refunds in 2014 than they did in 2013. To date, the IRS has processed most of the received returns (about 30% of total expected). Of the returns filed, the IRS has issued 6% more refunds than last year – paid mainly through direct deposit. The average refund in 2014 is $3,116 vs $2,990 last year.