When Will You Get Your Tax Refund? Here’s When to Expect That Check
One of the top tax refund questions many filers ask is, “When will I get my tax refund?” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know the exact date of when you’ll receive your tax refund — the answer depends on when you file your tax return.
However, you can estimate when you’ll receive your funds. The IRS issues most refunds in fewer than 21 days after filing, according to the agency. So generally, you can expect to get your tax refund about three weeks after you file your tax return.
In the past, some taxpayers have had to wait a bit longer to receive their tax refunds. During the previous tax season, for example, the IRS could not issue refunds before mid-February for those who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). At the time of writing, the IRS had not released any new information about tax refunds being delayed in 2019 if you claimed either tax credit. However, this might change as the 2019 tax season approaches.
But for now, keep reading to learn what you need to know about refunds — and when you can expect your tax refund in 2019.
In This Guide:
If you’re asking yourself, “When will I receive my tax refund?” keep this in mind: The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, according to its website. Based on this 21-day time frame, here’s a look at when you can expect to receive your tax refund in 2019:
Because the IRS has not yet disclosed when it will begin accepting tax returns for the 2019 tax filing season, we used last year’s start date (Jan. 29) to create the tax refund schedule above.
Please note that these are only estimates, as the IRS does not provide a tax refund calendar. And the dates you see above might conflict with other IRS tax refund schedules you might see online.
Another important thing to note: If your tax return requires additional review, you might have to wait longer to receive your tax refund.
The IRS website offers a “Where’s My Refund?” tool that allows you to track your refund after you’ve filed your income tax return. You can also track your refund through the IRS2Go app with the same information. The site will tell you the stage of your return:
To track your refund, you’ll need your Social Security number, your filing status and the exact amount of your refund. Typically, you can start tracking your return one day after you file if you submit your return electronically. But if you mail in a paper tax return, it takes about one month.
Learn More: Here’s the Average IRS Tax Refund Amount
To improve your chances of getting your tax refund sooner rather than later, there are a few steps you can take. Here’s what you can do to get your refund faster:
What If You File Your Taxes Late?
Filing taxes earlier is generally a good thing. Besides releasing yourself of the burden, you can expect an earlier tax refund. The longer you wait to file your taxes, the longer it will take to get your refund.
Plus, filing late might incur some expensive consequences. If the IRS owes you a tax refund, filing late generally won’t hurt you. However, if you owe taxes, you will be penalized for both filing late and paying late.
Some people need more time to file taxes. If you’re e-filing, you can file for an extension for free using the IRS’ Free File. Paper filers will need to submit Form 4868 to get a six-month extension on their tax deadline. This is a useful strategy to avoid paying taxes late, but note that the form doesn’t extend the time to pay taxes. If you wind up owing taxes after the extension, you will still be penalized.
Click to See: These Are the Penalties for Filing Taxes Late
The IRS lists the following issues that might extend the processing time and delay your refund:
There’s also a three refunds-per-year limit on the number of direct deposits going into a single account or prepaid debit card. If you exceed this limit, it might take up to 10 weeks to receive your refund check.
Still feeling a bit anxious about when to expect your return? The IRS recommends you only call them if:
Make sure you have your Social Security number or your ITIN handy when you contact the IRS.