2016-2017 Tax Season – Average IRS and State Tax Refund and Processing Times


[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.  In 2016, the IRS estimated the average refund to be 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.

Here is more refund information from the bigger online tax providers – > TurboTax ; H&R Block ;  TaxAct

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.

StateE-FILED Return, Refund Processing TimePAPER Filed Return, Refund Processing TimeState Refund Check Site
California (CA)7 - 10 days8 - 12 weeksCA Check Your Refund
New York (NY)Up to 3 weeksUp to 6 weeksNYC Refund Checker
Maryland (MD)Within 1 week~ 30 days to processMD Refund Checker
Illinois (IL)2-3 weeks, not before Mar 30th6 to 8 weeks, not before Mar 30thIL Refund Checker
Virginia (VA)Within 1 weekUp to 4 weeksVA Refund Checker
Utah (UT)7 to 21 daysUp to 90 daysUT Refund Checker
Georgia (GA)30-45 business daysUp to 6 weeksGA WMR Site
Average Refund by State

Average Refund by State (Source : Business Insider)

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.

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46 Comments on "2016-2017 Tax Season – Average IRS and State Tax Refund and Processing Times"


9/21 Filed in March. Still waiting on state refund. I’m in GA.

Angela Bobo

I filed my Ms. State Tax 2015 in February of 2016. To this day, I still have not received my state tax. The automatic recorder keep saying it under review. Give them 90 daya. It has been 90 days and over


Useful writing ! I am thankful for the info – Does someone know where I might be able to grab a blank a form form to work with ?


Has anyone received a refund on an amended Minnesota return? I know it can take up to 6 months, but am curious to see if anyone has received it sooner.


I filled Feb 15 2016 for my regular taxes and found out it could be end of July before I get my state refund.

Giselle Carter

I’m from MI, and I filed my taxes on March 31 on TurboTax. I got two confirmation texts saying my state and federal both went through. I received my state probably 1-2 weeks after filing, and I still have yet to get my federal.


Anyone from MN and still waiting? I use my tax returns to pay summer daycare money as I am a fulltime student/part time worker—-I thought it may be hard to SAVE it for the Summer but its still not here….therefore in just a week I will likely lose my job….It doesnt fit the criteria for MN to expedite my return since I am not facing foreclosure or having my electricity disconnected, I pay my bills! ……………………..filed 2/24 and NOTHING, wondering if there are more from MN here with the same story.


My sister filed hers in January and finally got it 4days ago. I filed mine in april guess I’ll get it at Christmas. Sucky.


It’s august 1st and I filed mine electronically Feb 1st. I’m still waiting for my return. Kinda frustrating


Yes..im from mn i filed feb 20,th nothing yet..im conviencei will never get it ..over 4 months..half way through the year


I e-filed on Mar 9th!!! with a very good financial firm….NOOOO refund as yet!!! It is May 5th…I had to show my health insurance coverage which I went through my papers and faxed it to them immediately and they e-filed AGAIN….Ive done everything correctly, how long do I wait??? I had to pay back around 5 years ago, and boy did they get on me by a deadline….When is the government going to be held accountable with their deadlines!!! We aren’t billionaires dodging taxes, we are ordinary hard working middle class people…Come one now, REALLY


I filed my taxes on 4/14/16. It’s 4/27 – received my federal last week but didn’t receive my state yet (maryland). Anyone else in maryland seeing delays? Mine still just says processing.

Seeing the posts here, perhaps 10+ days is not so bad yet…


I filed my taxes on 4/14/16. It’s 4/27 – received my federal last week but didn’t receive my state yet. Anyone else in md seeing delays?

Ernie Thomas

What “booming economy?” Slipping into recession…slowest growth out of a recession and heading back into another one. Lowest LPR in 50+ or so years. Wow. Came here to find info, and you start off by saying something you have no clue about.


I filed january11,2016 my taxes went into review the irs told me to wait 6 to 8 weeks my 8 weeks was up April 9,2016 now their saying allow and additional 12 weeks what’s going on somebody please tell me it don’t take 12 weeks 4real


I did mine March 10th and it was accepted, but it is still being processed, it said within 3 weeks, but 3 weeks came, and still nothing. Im in OK

Lindsey Laden

I did mine Jan 22nd and still have not received a thing. A letter, something telling me there is a problem, no notice. I did receive my Federal though. I have tried calling, I have tried online chat, I have tried getting a pin number. Nothing Nothing Nothing!!!


almost a month “still being processed” WTF!!!


I completed my taxes on March 2nd but I still haven’t heard anything. I’m getting worried.

shelle bickel

So crazy…in California filed 1/23/2016 got our federal back but still no state….so frustrating

Sydney. P

Same here – UT

Lindsey Laden

Same here


Same here in MS


Me and my husband also live in ms. We filed in January 2016 we received our federal return in February. They said it could take up to 90 days to get our state refund back. Well 90 days is up and still no check. This makes the second year of not gettin state back. Can they keep our state refund bc he’s a felon?

Angela Bobo

Glad to see your review. Filed mines in Feb. of 2016 and still getting the same recording.

PetorriA burden

Did mines Feb16 ain’t heard nothing yet


did mine feb 9 2016 still wating 03/04/16 this really is frustrating


I filed the same day as you & I’m still waiting as well. I’m in GA. Frustrating!


Did my taxes on the 19th, accepted same day, have direct deposit still haven’t recieved. As of today wmr stated instead of the bar that they have received my taxes and they are now being processed bs

Estevan Cisneros Jr

My return was filed on the 29th of January and I still haven’t received it. Does it really take that long ? It just says it’s being processed.

Kimberly c.

Same here, really frustrating!


Mine is same…….


Mine is still saying the same thing! Annoying!! I filed on the 28th.

Sammy Ginorio

Hey my boyfriend file is tax return on January 22 its start being process january 26 go to where is my Refund today day still processing wtf….this is a shame


I filed my taxes at the end of January. Got my federal within a week. My state needed further review which could take 90 days. Which here we are 90 days later May. I called the IRS today n now they are saying it could take up to another 30 days for processing. I’m not sure what is goin on. What can they just keep adding time?

Im not understanding how they haven’t yet reviewed my state taxes and getting ready to get more filers it really going to be a delay its not right to some of us we got to live to

I filed February 2nd, and it’s now APRIL 12th!!! This is freakin Ridiculous! I called the tax advocates, they told me that I “should” have an answer about my money by April 13th, if not, they will contact the to see what’s the hold up, that they may need my 1040 x from my school..I asked if I can just send it to the IRS NOW so I don’t have to wait for that answer, they said no! Then they mentioned that even if I don’t get my money, the IRS has an additional 30 days to process after the April 13th date!! What??!! The government never sleeps on taking my taxes out my paycheck but yet makes me wait over 2 months to at least “get back to me about when my tax refund will be processing”? Somebody is going to hear from me and/or my lawyer if this… Read more »

That is why they say we should set up our deductions so that we break even and do not get a refund. If we are paying in more than we should be its like giving the IRS a loan, but we don’t get the interest from it…..however when the shoe is on the other foot and we owe the IRS, the interest rate we pay is RIDICULOUS! We should all try to break even, and not loan the government our hard earned money interest free!


I filed electronically back in the beginning of February. It’s been two months and I have yet to receive my state refund. No one can give me any info other than “it’s processing” which is not helpful at all. Why so long this year?


They say cuase some onliners from other countrys stealing information on irs.gov site but i have filed the jan 19 accepted the 20 of jan an still in processing they said lots were spit out cuase problems on there end i said well shit its aprl all ready wtf!!!


I filed my taxes feb. 3 and still haven’t received anything.


I’m in the same boat as you. This is horrible! The government and the people in the powerful seats what Americans to be productive citizens, how can we? When the IRS is still processing over 100 millions tax returns months later without feedback. I’m just starting a new job, and I am a single mother. I have necessary things to do with my tax return “thats due to me” I need to survive in this cruel world where the rich gets richer and so what for the rest of us.! I’m truly disappointed n my government right now.

I filed 8 wks electronically as well still havent recieved a date for deposit.


I e filed 8 weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything when can I expect it

[…] Also if you are wondering where you state refund is, then click on the links to the respective state tax websites to get your state refund status. However you should wait 24 to 48 hrs after filing your federal and state return before trying to determine your state refund status since federal and state tax systems take a while to pass information between each other.  You will generally need your social security number, mailing address. and refund amount shown on your tax return to be able to get your refund status information. See this article for checking your federal tax refund status. […]


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