2017 IRS Tax Refund Processing Schedule and Direct Deposit Cycle Chart for 2016 Return Filings


2017 IRS refund-scheduleBelow is the latest table showing estimated 20162017 tax season refund payment dates based on past refund cycles and IRS guidelines. It shows the date your refund will be processed and paid based on the week your return is accepted by the IRS. For refund dates specific to your tax filing go to the Where is my Refund (WMR) page or IRS2Go mobile application. You will need information from your tax return to get your specific refund processing and payment dates. Note that Jan 23rd is when the IRS E-file system will start processing electronic and paper tax returns. Even if you submitted before this date, don’t expect refund processing and payments to take place beforehand.

EITC and ACTC Related Tax Refund Delays (PATH) Update: As in previous tax seasons a number of tax payers will see refund processing delays. The IRS had already announced that it will have to hold/delay refund payments for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) due to additional anti-fraud safeguards/reviews under newly enacted laws (PATH Act). But the IRS is now processing refunds which were originally being held up due to PATH mandates. You should no longer be seeing the PATH message as a blocker to get your refund processed and paid. If held up for other reasons (see below) you will get the applicable message/follow-up action.

The federal IRS refund schedule table below is only for electronically filed returns (e-file) done thorough online tax software providers and assumes your tax return was in order. I.e accepted by the IRS via the WMR tool and status is equal to “Return Received”. Paper filed returns can take considerably longer and would add 1 to 2 weeks to the time frames below. Again, use the the tax refund chart below as a guideline and refer to the IRS WMR tool for specific timeframes related to your return.  Also note that it could take much longer to get your refund if the IRS deems your tax return submission needs further reviews or your identity needs to be verified. This would add two to nine weeks to the date range of your refund delivery date.

For those impacted by tax refund delays (and it will be a lot this year) make sure you also scroll through some of the ~7000 comments below this article from current and prior years for further ideas/support, including some useful tips and tricks to find out your refund status if you are not getting much insight from the IRS WMR tool. So hang in there if you are dealing with extended delays for getting for your federal tax refund. You are not alone.

2016-2017 Tax Season IRS Refund Schedule

IRS Accepts Return After
(WMR status = Return Received)
IRS Return Accepted Before (End Date)Estimated Refund Due Date (via Direct Deposit)Estimated Refund Due Date (via Paper Check)
January 23, 2017January 27, 2017February 3, 2017February 6, 2017
January 27, 2017February 3, 2017February 10, 2017February 13, 2017
February 3, 2017February 10, 2017February 17, 2017February 20, 2017
February 10, 2017February 15, 2017February 24, 2017February 27, 2017
February 15, 2017February 24, 2017March 3, 2017March 6, 2017
February 24, 2017March 3, 2017March 10, 2017March 13, 2017
March 3, 2017March 10, 2017March 17, 2017March 20, 2017
March 10, 2017March 17, 2017March 24, 2017March 27, 2017
March 17, 2017March 24, 2017April 1, 2017April 3, 2017
March 24, 2017March 31, 2017April 9, 2017April 13, 2017
March 31, 2017April 7, 2017April 18, 2017April 20, 2017
April 7, 2017April 14, 2017April 25, 2017April 27, 2017
April 14, 2017April 21, 2017May 2, 2017May 4, 2017
April 21, 2017April 28, 2017May 9, 2017May 11, 2017
April 28, 2017May 5, 2017May 16, 2017May 18, 2017
May 5, 2017May 12, 2017May 23, 2017May 25, 2017
May 12, 2017May 19, 2017May 30, 2017June 1, 2017
May 19, 2017May 26, 2017June 6, 2017June 8, 2017
May 26, 2017June 2, 2017June 13, 2017June 15, 2017
June 2, 2017June 9, 2017June 20, 2017June 22, 2017
June 9, 2017June 16, 2017June 27, 2017June 29, 2017
June 16, 2017June 23, 2017July 5, 2017July 7, 2017
June 23, 2017June 30, 2017July 11, 2017July 13, 2017
June 30, 2017July 7, 2017July 18, 2017July 20, 2017
July 7, 2017July 14, 2017July 25, 2017July 27, 2017
July 14, 2017July 21, 2017August 1, 2017August 3, 2017
July 21, 2017July 28, 2017August 8, 2017August 10, 2017
July 28, 2017August 4, 2017August 15, 2017August 17, 2017
August 4, 2017August 11, 2017August 22, 2017August 24, 2017
August 11, 2017August 18, 2017August 29, 2017August 31, 2017
August 18, 2017August 25, 2017September 5, 2017September 7, 2017
August 25, 2017September 1, 2017September 12, 2017September 14, 2017
September 1, 2017September 8, 2017September 19, 2017September 21, 2017
September 8, 2017September 15, 2017September 26, 2017September 28, 2017
September 15, 2017September 22, 2017October 3, 2017October 5, 2017
September 22, 2017September 29, 2017October 10, 2017October 12, 2017
September 29, 2017October 6, 2017October 17, 2017October 19, 2017
October 6, 2017October 13, 2017October 24, 2017October 26, 2017
October 13, 2017October 20, 2017October 31, 2017November 2, 2017
October 20, 2017October 27, 2017November 7, 2017November 9, 2017
October 27, 2017November 3, 2017November 14, 2017November 16, 2017
November 3, 2017November 10, 2017November 21, 2017November 23, 2017
November 10, 2017November 17, 2017November 28, 2017November 30, 2017
November 17, 2017November 24, 2017December 5, 2017December 7, 2017
November 24, 2017December 1, 2017December 12, 2017December 14, 2017
December 1, 2017December 8, 2017December 19, 2017December 21, 2017
December 8, 2017December 15, 2017December 26, 2017December 28, 2017
December 15, 2017December 22, 2017January 2, 2018January 4, 2018
December 22, 2017December 29, 2017January 9, 2018January 11, 2018
December 29, 2017January 5, 2018January 16, 2018January 18, 2018

For those experiencing ongoing issues or delays with their refunds check out this article on “Why is it taking so long to get my refund.” The IRS has said that  phone and walk-in representatives can research the status of your refund only if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return or if the IRS tool Where’s My Refund? directs you to contact them. The WMR tool will also provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. If your refund is taking much longer than the above schedule, and assuming your return was accepted by the IRS, please leave a comment below for the benefit of other readers. I can try digging into the reasons if a few people are seeing delays.

Help! My WMR status bar has disappeared – Does this mean by return is still being processed and/or will my refund be delayed?

As many folks have commented, the WMR tracker status bar may disappear or not be shown if your return falls under IRS review after it is received (Status Bar 1: Return Received) because additional information is needed for your return. This can happen even if you previously checked WMR and it showed the status as “Return Received.”  An explanation or instructions will be provided depending on the situation (eg PATH message or see Tax Topic 152 as discussed below)

But don’t panic when this happens. The IRS still has your return but things are essentially on hold until the IRS gets the additional information from you to continue processing your return . You will either get directions on WMR or IRS2Go or the IRS will contact you by mail. Follow the provided instructions and return any additional information ASAP to get your potential refund and reduce any further delays. Talk to your accountant, tax advocate or tax professional if you are not clear on what the IRS is asking for or you don’t get an update after 21 days.

WMR Path, Tax Topic 152 and 151 message 

Two of the most common refund related messages showing up on the WMR tool after your tax return is submitted are the PATH message and to Refer to Tax Topic 152. The PATH message relates to the The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act of 2015) and is to notify you that the IRS is required to hold refunds claiming the EITC/ACTC until Feb. 15 as described above due to further identity verification.

When you see the “Refer to Tax Topic 152” message it means your refund is being processed and the IRS is directing you its generic refund page for more information. There is not much you can do but wait to see if the IRS finds any issues or requires further verification of your identity or items in your tax return. See the various reader comments below on timing and their experience after getting this and other WMR messages.

A Tax Topic 151 message simply means that you’re getting a tax offset which may result in your refund being less than you expected. The reason for this is that the federal government has “offset” or deducted monies from your tax refund to cover debts you owe other federal agencies. You will get an official IRS letter/report explaining the actual offset and adjustments to your tax return, and details on how to appeal this action – but likely it will delay you getting your refund. While not great news, the silver lining here is that the IRS has processed your return and your adjusted refund (where applicable) should be on its way.

If I can order my IRS tax transcript does it mean I am getting my refund soon?

This question comes up a lot and I have seen a few comments on this suggesting that that if you can order your transcript then your refund is on the way. But this is not a factual statement. Yes there is a correlation because to get a transcript the IRS generally has to have processed your tax return (and refund where applicable). But the IRS is very clear that being able to request a transcript does not mean you will imminently be getting a refund and is among the common myths and misconceptions repeated in social media. The IRS’ official line is that checking the WMR tool is the best and official way to check your refund status.

However I have read a number of comments here and on other tax sites saying that when the WMR site provides limited information on the refund, requesting a free IRS transcript seems to be another way of checking the status of the refund. Generally if you can request a transcript, it means the refund is on the way and the IRS has completed processing of your tax return. But this is all anecdotal evidence.

A note about IRS system issues and refund delays

It appears that the IRS is again having issues with processing returns in a timely manner and so a number of people are seeing delays in getting their refunds or updates in the status of their refund on the WMR tool/app. The IRS has said that all system issues have now been resolved but given the various legacy systems they have and volume of processing I would not be surprised to see system problems arise again this year, which mean delays in processing and paying refunds.

See here for average refund amounts in past tax seasons and refund processing times by state

2016-2017 Tax Season – Amended Tax Return Refund Schedule

While the IRS promises to have regular return refunds processed within 21 days for nine out of ten tax payers, it does take quite a bit longer to receive a refund if you amended your tax return. Generally you will have to wait 8 to 12 weeks more for the IRS to process amended returns since they prioritize regular returns. Also note that the standard”Where’s my refund” service from the IRS does not track amended tax return status’. You need to instead use the IRS tool, Where’s My Amended Return.” You can also access the tool via phone by calling 1-866-464-2050.  Only call the IRS to follow up on delayed amended return refunds after 12 weeks. The number to call is 1-800-829-1040.

I will continue to update this article and encourage you to check back regularly. If the information here was useful please consider sharing this page via Facebook, Twitter or your other social media channels.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Billie Richards June 20

Filed my taxes in February got the tax code 151 and 1242 send in everything the IRS asked for twice its now june 20th 2017 and still have not received any further letters from the IRS and WMR hasn’t changed…so 4 months later still waiting..Am I EVER going to see my refund this is rediculuos…


Erin June 17

I had to file a paper tax return due to a identity theft concern with my husbands employer. I mailed it April 18th and it is now June 17th and the WMR update says they are still processing my return. This is ridiculous. I sent in my son’s first ever return the same day and he just received his refund in the mail a week ago. I’m not depending on my refund but man I could really use it right about now.


Felisha June 13

I filed my amended tax back in March and all I see online is “we have no record”. When will this be processed and when should I expect my amended return ? I am seeing people waiting 6 months to a year for it. Does anyone have updates on this?


skipmarcy June 12

My preparer e-filed on Feb.16 and it is now June 12 and still no refund. Got 1st letter that return was being reviewed dated March 1. Got 2nd letter w/identity theft form 14039 dated May 15 and my tax preparer faxed it to IRS stating we are not victims of identity theft. Very simple tax return, W-2 incomes +1099 SSA, standard deductions, form 1095 for insurance for both of us. Have been filing jointly now for 33 years with no problems.


Andrew June 9

My taxes were accepted on April 3rd. I had to send “additional” information to them claiming I missed a signature and a form I did not have. After faxing these document pages to them the same day they were accepted. That was roughly April 6th. It is now June 9th and still being processed. What is going on? It appears I am not alone here, but what is the hold up? We need our refund!


R.J. Wilson June 9

Filed March 11, 2017 Electronically thru AARP Tax Assistance and our refund is just “Stuck” with the same info. they show…….received and being processed. This was a simple joint return with Standard Deductions and just doesnt make any sense…….hopefully I can “Walk In” next week and get some answers! Not Fair!


Carmen June 8

I mailed my taxes on 4/6 and assuming they received it at the end of the following week today is the eight week and no word from the irs. No refund no letter no change in status. Just stucked on we have received your return and is being process. Absolutly frustrated.


Robin Redmond June 4

My taxes have been saying there process being since February 1st 2017 it’s not 6/4 like come on


Alexis Kamppi May 29

I filed and it was accepted Jan 28. I was requested to send ss cards and birth certificates for my children and I to verify identity middle of March. Still says my refund is being processed w/a code 152. I called several times and they say they need nothing else. I’ve also successfully ordered my transcripts and it all matches the original refund amounts. What gives????? This is absolutely absurd. If you were to owe the IRS money, they want it NOW! I want my money now!


Selena May 23

I filed in February, received a letter to call to verify my identity. That was a fail. Drove two hours to the closest irs service office to prove my identity and was told the bank account number didn’t match my return. After many questions back and forth he figured out the account number was for turbo tax and asked me if I still wanted to submit it! WMR says “has been received and processing “. Next I get an email from turbotax stating they would automatically withdraw payment for services. When I called turbotax I was told the withdrawal was declined maybe due to a wrong account number? Not much confidence in turbotax or irs. Good luck!


Tamara May 23

We filed our taxes on 3/4 and we finally called them after it still states Processing on there website since then. They basically told us that we should have received a letter from them, but wouldn’t tell us what they are requested and why they are sending us a letter said it could take up to 2 months before we get our tax refund back. We have never had to wait this long and my husband told them if the shoe was on the other foot and we owed them money they would have charged us in interest! I dont think the people at the IRS knows what they are doing.


Geraldine May 17

Still waiting on my refund i need it now


Deanna May 25

Me to. I filed Jan.26


Tallman May 11

I filled 03/27/2017 got accepted the same night.lost my WMR bar two week after , had to ID my self 05/02/2017 i was able to order both transcripts by fone yesterday does that mean I’ll soon have a DDD?


Luis Merced May 9

I did my taxes late February. I filed electronically through Jackson Huit. I received my federal in less than 7 days and I am still waiting for state refund. The funny thing is I checked the state refund status online weeks ago and finally about 3 weeks ago it said my refund was being processed. I’ve been checking ever since and now it says it has not been processed yet?


Diamond May 6

I filed my tax refund on April 6, 2017 and it got accepted April 7, 2017 and everyday i check wmr and its say it still processed and now its May 6, 2017 and the message still the same can somebody tell me whats going on please…. And plus i filed 2 of my kids could that be the reason for the delay


Ava May 6

Filed 1/25/17 today’s date is 5/06/17 still no refund, received message code 9001 as well 152 I filed no eic nor the other, NO bars on WMR, still waiting. My hope is that a better system is put in place one that will allow you to track better their process, for me the frustration comes in the ‘not knowing’ the constant checking on WMR. stay hopeful, hopefully we will all get a DDD soon, though the frustration is REAL.


Amanda May 14

I filed 2/21 and still NOTHING :( im beyond frustrated. I have to verify my identity TWICE and still NOTHING :(


netta May 17

did you ever try and get your transcript….


Lorraine May 6

I haven’t received my taxes yet…I filed may 6th and still nothing.On the website it is on still processing. Does anyone know a number where I can talk to an IRS representative?


Lorraine May 6

I meant I filed April 6th… Not may.


Lexci May 4

I filled back in February but the IRS needed more information so I faxed the remaining info on March 9th. They said I should expect my return 6-8 weeks from when I send them the extra info. It’s May 4th and STILL no return….


Jamie Torres May 3

My man and I filed the last week of March and yet here we are May 3 nothing has been deposited into our account


Sarai May 2

I filed on January and got accepted on the WMR bar then a couple of days later was changed to “we have received your refund and it’s being processed”. By the first week of March I received a letter that I need to verify my identity, I called and verified my identity and was told that it could take up to 9 weeks to receive my return. Later I received another later stating that my tax return was on hold for further review and that the investigation would be completed by April 20 and that I should receive my return or another letter from IRS requesting more info. I called the IRS to see what was my status, the guy was not able to give me more information only that he would give my contact information to the department that was reviewing my return. I called again the next day to see if I could get any information through the automated voice system, and found out that on April 15 all credits were applied and the automated voice system gave me the expected amount of $ I’m expecting. I have been checking on IRS page but still says it’s being processed so I really hope I get my money this week or by far next week.


Amanda May 14

I filed 2/21 and still NOTHING :( im beyond frustrated. I have to verify my identity TWICE and still NOTHING :( what number can i call to see if they released it yet ?


Lily May 31

Hi mine said the same thing but I have not gotten any money yet have you heard anything from them


Patricia Davis May 2

I had a CPA do my taxes on Febuary 20th. Filed electronically, direct deposit. Been back to my CPA twice now. Still no return. My husband passed on January 17th and we sent all the necessary forms to the IRS. I need my money badly. Today is the last day for the IRS to manually process without going thru another bunch of crap. Wouldn’t be doing this if I owed them money!!


Stacy Lunsford May 2

I filed through turbo tax on Jan 26th. We got a letter on Feb 15th saying that we need to call and verify our identity. We called that day and thwy said everything looked good and we should be getting out refund in 9 weeks, but that it usually doesn’t take longer than 5 weeks. Here it is May 1st and we still haven’t gotten our return. We are owed that money and this is getting ridiculous. I have been checking the app where’s my refund and it still says “we have received your taxes and they are still being processed”. Come on what the heck is going on! Getting irritated


Jolene Anderson May 1

Filed March 9th. We had 2 sets of taxes to be done. The first was electronic and we saw the direct deposit in 8 days. The second had to be mailed in and H&R Block said 4-6 weeks. It’s has been just about 8 weeks now. I get that there can be delays but for those who have been waiting for longer than I have I can only imagine the irritation. Keep checking online once to twice a week and it still says processing. It feels like it’s going to be Christmas before we see that check. Although heaven forbid you owe them money and don’t get it within an expected time frame.


Dawn April 29

We filed in January and still have not received our Federal tax return and it is almost May.


Janelle Hart April 29

This is crazy I filed on January 27th and whenever I try and find out all I get is the refund is still processing. I hope the IRS will be adding interest because if we miss paying our taxes we have a fee or a penalty. I have go nothing in the mail and I think this is crazy, if I owed money they would have already gave me my refund after the IRS got what was owed to them. So freaking annoying.


Lindsey Manzanares May 1

I had to pay H&R Block out of pocket because I still haven’t received our federal and they didn’t release the fee for H&R Block. Apparently you have 22days for them to paid and then they threaten you with collections.
Still saying processing our refund, and we did ours in Feb.


Melissa May 2

Im in the same situation. They are still reviewing mine as well and its been since 1-24-2017 since they accepted it. Ive called and told the same thing over and over that they cant give me any other info. Im so stressed out and need the money so bad. I hope you have gotten yours or getting a refund soon.


Purple Rose June 20

Have you received your refund ? I’m still waiting filed January 26 , amended in April and still nothing with a Tax advocate


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