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.
The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to again receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the IRS issued 109 million refunds, with an average refund of $2,797.
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. An estimated IRS refund chart based on date of filing is shown below. 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.
|2016 Date Range when Filing Accepted by IRS (per WMR tool)||Direct Deposit Refund Sent (Estimate)||Paper Check Refund Mailed (Estimate)|
|Jan 19 to Jan 30||7-Feb||10-Feb|
|Jan 30 to Feb 06||12-Feb||14-Feb|
|Feb 07 to Feb 13||19-Feb||21-Feb|
|Feb 14 to Feb 20||26-Feb||28-Feb|
|Feb 21 to Feb 27||5-Mar||6-Mar|
|Feb 28 to Mar 05||12-Mar||14-Mar|
|Mar 06 to Mar 12||19-Mar||21-Mar|
|Mar 13 to Mar 19||26-Mar||28-Mar|
|Mar 20 to Mar 26||2-Apr||3-Apr|
|Mar 27 to Apr 02||9-Apr||11-Apr|
|Apr 03 to Apr 09||16-Apr||18-Apr|
|Apr 10 to Apr 17||23-Apr||25-Apr|
|Apr 18 to Apr 23||30-Apr||2-May|
|Apr 24 to Apr 30||6-May||8-May|
|May 01 to May 07||13-May||15-May|
|May 08 to May 14||20-May||22-May|
|May 15 to May 21||27-May||29-May|
|May 22 to May 29||3-Jun||5-Jun|
|May 30 to Jun 05||10-Jun||12-Jun|
|Jun 06 to Jun 12||17-Jun||19-Jun|
|Jun 13 to Jun 19||24-Jun||26-Jun|
|Jun 20 to Jun 26||1-Jul||3-Jul|
|Jun 27 to Jul 03||8-Jul||10-Jul|
|Jul 04 to Jul 10||15-Jul||17-Jul|
|Jul 11 to Jul 17||22-Jul||24-Jul|
|Jul 18 to Jul 24||29-Jul||31-Jul|
|Jul 25 to Jul 31||5-Aug||7-Aug|
|Aug 01 to Aug 07||12-Aug||14-Aug|
|Aug 08 to Aug 14||19-Aug||21-Aug|
|Aug 15 to Aug 21||26-Aug||28-Aug|
|Aug 22 to Aug 28||2-Sep||4-Sep|
|Aug 29 to Sep 04||9-Sep||11-Sep|
|Sep 05 to Sep 11||16-Sep||18-Sep|
|Sep 12 to Sep 18||23-Sep||25-Sep|
|Sep 19 to Sep 25||30-Sep||2-Oct|
|Sep 26 to Oct 02||7-Oct||9-Oct|
|Oct 03 to Oct 09||14-Oct||16-Oct|
|Oct 10 to Oct 16||21-Oct||23-Oct|
To find out online when the IRS currently expects to specifically 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.
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. If you don’t receive your refund in 21 days, then and only then, contact the IRS to determine why it is taking so long to receive your return.
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.