How long does tax refund take?

How long does tax refund take? If you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, you should get your refund within six to eight weeks after the IRS receives your return. Your refund should be given in less than three weeks if you file your return electronically and even faster if you choose direct deposit.

How long does tax refund take?

If you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, you should get your refund within six to eight weeks after the IRS receives your return. Your refund should be given in less than three weeks if you file your return electronically and even faster if you choose direct deposit.

How you file your tax return will have a big impact on when you obtain your refund. E-filing your return and receiving your refund via direct deposit is the quickest alternative.

The majority of taxpayers who chose this route will receive their refunds within 21 days after filing their 2021 taxes, which will be filed in 2022. That means that three weeks after the IRS accepts your tax return, your refund will arrive in your bank account.

After that, it could take a few days for your bank to make the funds available to you. Your return will take longer to process if you file a paper return or request a paper check for your refund. It will take two months or more to file a paper return and receive your refund in the form of a paper check.

Federal tax refund delivery time

Delivery type Delivery time (date filed – receipt of tax refund)
E-file with direct deposit 1-3 weeks
Paper file with direct deposit 1-3 weeks
E-file with refund check in the mail 6-8 weeks
Paper file with refund check in the mail 6-8 weeks

2022 IRS refund schedule chart

On January 24, 2022, the IRS began collecting tax returns for the year 2021. Although the IRS has not issued its refund schedule for 2022, you can use the table below to get a rough idea of when you can expect to get your money.

Date taxes accepted Direct deposit sent Paper check mailed
Jan. 24 – Jan. 31 Feb. 7 Feb. 14
Feb. 6 – Feb. 7 Feb. 14 Feb. 21
Feb. 8 – Feb. 14 Feb. 21 Feb. 28
Feb. 15 – Feb. 21 Feb. 28 March 7
Feb. 22 – Feb. 28 March 7 March 14
March 1 – March 7 March 14 March 21
March 8 – March 14 March 21 March 28
March 15 – March 21 March 28 April 4
March 22 – March 28 April 4 April 11
March 29 – April 4 April 11 April 18
April 5 – April 11 April 18 April 25
April 12 – April 18 April 25 May 2
April 19 – April 25 May 2 May 9
April 26 – May 2 May 9 May 15
May 3 – May 9 May 15 May 23
May 10 – May 16 May 23 May 30
May 17 – May 23 May 30 June 6
May 24 – May 30 June 6 June 13
May 31 – June 6 June 13 June 20
June 7 – June 13 June 20 June 27
June 14 – June 20 June 27 July 4
June 21 – June 27 July 4 July 11
June 28 – July 4 July 11 July 18
July 5 – July 11 July 18 July 25
July 12 – July 18 July 25 Aug. 1
July 19 – July 25 Aug. 1 Aug. 8
July 26 – Aug. 1 Aug. 8 Aug. 15

Status of Tax Refund

Feature to check the status of your federal tax refund. You can also use the IRS2Go smartphone app to access that function. If you file electronically, the status of your return will normally be accessible within 24 hours. If you mailed a paper return, you’ll have to wait at least four weeks to find out how it’s doing.

To check the status of your return, you’ll need three pieces of information:

  • Your Social Security number (SSN)

  • Your filing status

  • The amount of your anticipated reimbursement in precise dollars

  • If you filed an EITC or ACTC return, the IRS says your refund status should be updated by late February.

Why is your refund taking so long to arrive?

For a variety of reasons, your reimbursement may be delayed. In certain circumstances, you’ll simply receive the funds later than anticipated. In some cases, the IRS will send you a letter requesting additional information before completing your return and sending your refund.

Remember that if the IRS has problems with your return, it will never call you - that’s usually a fraud but will instead send you a letter. If you receive a notice from the IRS regarding your return, act quickly.

“Once you’ve determined that it’s legitimate,” Kathy Pickering, H&R Block’s chief tax officer, advises, “you should answer in the manner required in the letter.” “If you don’t react, the IRS is unlikely to issue your refund or complete the processing of your tax return on time.”

Here are some possible causes for the delay in your refund:

1. Delays and errors

According to the IRS on February 14, tax returns with concerns relating to the third stimulus check, missing information, or suspected fraud or theft might take up to 90 days to resolve. Due to no fault of their own, some taxpayers may claim the erroneous amount on their tax returns this year.

On February 14, the IRS also announced that some of its Child Tax Credit letters, letter 6419, had erroneous information concerning the amount received by some taxpayers. According to the IRS, taxpayers should refer to the letter when submitting their tax forms.

However, according to Larry Gray, a CPA and government relations liaison for the National Association of Tax Professionals, if this occurs, the taxpayer’s return may not match what the IRS has on file, resulting in the return being flagged and delays in processing and receiving their refund.

On a conference call to discuss tax professionals’ concerns about the current tax season, he stated, “People may not know the letter could be erroneous, and what is the IRS doing to send out a follow-up communication to avoid creating a worse backlog in the following season?”

2. The Income Reported Doesn’t Match IRS Records

When you receive W-2s or 1099s, the IRS receives copies as well. If the numbers you provide and the information the IRS receives don’t match, your return could be delayed while the IRS works out the details.

“It moves to the error resolution path if data on your tax return doesn’t match data in the IRS systems,” explains Mark Steber, chief tax information officer for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. Make sure you don’t miss any revenue when filing your taxes, especially if you have multiple side hustles.

3. Inconsistent Direct Deposit Accounts

If you choose direct deposit but the ownership of the bank account does not match the filing status on the return for example, if the refund is deposited into an account for one spouse when the return was filed jointly your refund may be delayed, according to Barbara Weltman, author of J.K. Lasser’s 1001 Tax Tips.

2022 Deductions and Tax Breaks The refund may be delayed in this scenario, and the IRS may send a printed check.

4. The IRS is looking into possible cases of identity theft and fraud

It is important for taxpayers to verify their identities before the IRS would release their tax refund, as Pickering explains. “You will most likely need to provide information from your prior year’s return, your current year’s return, and your current year’s Forms W-2 and 1099 to the IRS Taxpayer Protection Program unit.”

5. Doing Double Duty on Dependents

According to Susan Carlisle, a CPA in Los Angeles, because tax-filing software is simple to use, several young adults submitted their tax returns without coordinating with their parents’ forms. “Many students learned they could file their taxes online,” she adds, adding that many took their exemption.

You can’t do both if their parents claim them as dependents. “As a result, reimbursements are halted until the issue is remedied, and someone will need to file an amended return,” she explains.

6. You Must Submit an Old Tax Return

Pickering notes that the Internal Revenue Service has the authority to withhold any refunds due to you until the previous return is submitted. “The only way to solve this problem and get your money back is to file your overdue tax return. The IRS will take any back taxes owed from past years out of your present refund.”

7. You’ve sent in Your Return

The IRS always takes longer to process paper returns, and it might take significantly longer if the return has errors or inconsistencies. “The e-file procedure captures numerous return problems and rejects the returns at the time of filing,” Pickering explains.

How long does tax refund take?


In some cases, the IRS will send you a letter requesting additional information before completing your return and sending your refund. Delays and errors may take up to 90 days to settle. Due to no fault of their own, some taxpayers may claim the erroneous amount on their tax returns.

Refunds are guaranteed within 21 days of filing

According to CPA Advisor, taxpayers who e-file can expect to get their refunds by direct transfer as early as one week after filing. As tax season approaches and the IRS receives more returns, processing times are said to lengthen, per the IRS website.

Meanwhile, tax professionals say there are a number of things taxpayers can do to increase the likelihood of receiving their refunds quickly this year, which is especially important given the IRS’s early year backlog. National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins expressed “great worry” to Congress in January about the upcoming filing season due to the backlog and other difficulties.

Mark W. Everson, a former IRS Commissioner and current vice chairman of Alliantgroup, once said, “The first thing you need to know if you’re going to cook a dinner is that the kitchen has to be spotless after the last meal.” The situation will only worsen from here on out.

According to Collins, the IRS’s tax return processing is a major issue in her study depicting a crisis at the agency.

The American population as a whole is beginning to understand: polled roughly 2,500 people and announced the results on February 22; the potential for IRS processing delays was the second most common worry among those anticipating an IRS return this year.

Tax returns could be delayed

Experts predict a possible delay in tax returns. The IRS has promised that most refunds will be paid out within 21 days, but experts warn that this timeline is unrealistic given the agency’s current workload processing 2020 tax returns.

The latest IRS data shows that during the 2020 fiscal year, the agency processed over 240 million tax returns and distributed approximately $736 billion in refunds, including $268 billion in federal stimulus payments. Over that time span, almost 60 million people interacted with the IRS either by phone or in person.

AU Washington accounting and taxation professor Donald Williamson projects “weeks and weeks” of IRS backlog in 2022. If you need to file your taxes in 2022, I advise you to start the process as soon as possible and see a professional.

The IRS is notoriously hard to get in touch with the phone, and tax preparers have told CBS MoneyWatch that this only makes things more challenging. According to Collins, the IRS only responded to only one in nine taxpayer calls during fiscal year 2021-22. ‘Many taxpayers are frustrated because they are not getting answers to their difficulties,’ she said.

Christian Cyr, CPA, president/CEO of Cyr Financial, recalls the days when it took 5-10 minutes to reach an IRS agent via phone. He claims that his certified public accountants now have to wait hours before interacting with an IRS representative.

It’s crucial to submit a faultless tax return because the average refund was approximately $3,000 in 2017. The Internal Revenue Service and tax experts can help you get your tax refund as quickly as 21 days after you file.

1. File electronically

The Internal Revenue Service has requested that you perform this action this year. The IRS asserts that taxpayers who file online have a better chance of getting their taxes done quickly, even if some people prefer to file paper forms and others have no choice.

This is due to the fact that the IRS can process electronic returns far more quickly than paper ones, thanks to the use of computers. As a result of the IRS closing its doors and employees refusing to open mail during the early days of the pandemic, the processing of paper returns was slowed significantly.

The IRS staff hasn’t grown to meet the needs of the expanding population, and this is on top of the stress the pandemic has already brought. Even though the population has grown by 60% since 1970, the number of people employed by the agency has not changed. It means that more returns can be processed with the same amount of staff.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service reports that out of the 148 million tax returns filed in 2021, only around 10 million were submitted on paper. There are currently 138 million taxpayers who have opted to file their returns electronically and experts recommend that everyone else do the same.

National Taxpayer Advocate Collins said on Wednesday, “Paper is the IRS’s Kryptonite, and the agency is still buried in it.”

2. Request a direct deposit reimbursement

The Internal Revenue Service recommends that taxpayers sign up for direct deposit of tax refunds. The quickest option to receive your funds is to file electronically and have the funds sent directly to your bank account by direct deposit, as stated by the agency.

Last year, refunds were issued to around 95 million clients, of which approximately 87 million opted for direct deposit. If there are no problems with the return, the IRS says that taxpayers who file online and select direct deposit will typically get their refund within 21 days.

3. Don’t make educated guesses

In order to verify tax return information, the IRS uses its own database. If your W-2 shows that you made $60,000 but you only report $58,000 on your return, your return will be flagged for human review. Your tax return could be held up for weeks, or even months, because of this.

To avoid any penalties, tax experts recommend checking your forms twice before submitting them. According to Cyr, “word of mouth or the honour system” shouldn’t be employed when completing your tax return. I can promise you that this will be a delay-causing factor.

4. Keep all stimulus and CTC letters from the IRS

This month, the IRS will mail notices to those who received the third federal stimulus check in 2021 or advanced Child Tax Credit payments.

Each taxpayer will receive a letter in early 2022 detailing any benefits they obtained from these programs in 2020. One main cause of the 2021 tax return delay is that several taxpayers made mistakes while reporting the amount of 2020 stimulus payments they received on their returns.

When asked about potential issues, Everson warned, “Don’t have any difficulties that are caused by your negligence.” However, the IRS is urging taxpayers to double-check the amount they received by logging into their accounts, as some of them may have received incorrect CTC letters.

The Internal Revenue Service will send out two letters

  1. First, taxpayers who are eligible for the CTC will receive prior notification via Letter 6419. The organization started sending out these letters in December, and they will keep doing so throughout January.

  2. The third stimulus evaluation is discussed in letter 6475. That letter will be sent out toward the end of January.

Experts recommend keeping both of these letters and referencing them when filing your taxes. You might have to wait if you want to claim these tax breaks. There are still a few potential roadblocks that could occur even if you do everything by the book.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit reimbursements will be held up until mid-February, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The agency said last week that the extra time is provided by law to help the IRS detect fraudulent returns.

Even if you file as soon as possible on January 24, you may not get your refund if it contains one of those tax benefits. As a matter of fact, the IRS has stated that taxpayers who claim these credits and file their returns on or around January 24 should expect to get their refunds in early March.

This is because of a rule implemented in 2015 that significantly delays refunds for people who are eligible for these benefits. Legislation was passed to limit identity theft as a means by which scammers obtain financial benefits.

Returns Incorporating the EITC or ACTC

You may have to wait a little longer for your refund if you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The IRS is required by law to keep refunds from these returns on hold until February 15th.

According to the IRS, the refund won’t arrive in your bank account until late February. You should expect a longer refund if you don’t choose direct deposit or if there are issues with your return.


Tax returns may be delayed, according to experts. Refunds must be received within 21 days after filing. Taxpayer e-file can receive their refunds via direct deposit as soon as one week after filing if all goes according to plan.

Where’s my tax refund?

When you press the green button to send your tax return, this is what happens. We submit the return to the government after “stamping” it with an electronic postmark. Then we both wait for the IRS to accept your return, which can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.

They’re double-checking your personal information to see whether it matches what they have on file. The IRS accepts your return if everything appears to be in order. You’ll be on the IRS payment schedule once you’ve been accepted.

Only the IRS knows where your tax return is in the processing queue, whether you owe money or are due for a refund. Last year, the IRS issued more than 9 out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in fewer than 21 days, compared to less than 21 days in previous years.

In 2021, the same results are projected. Beginning 24 hours after you e-file, you can utilize the IRS Where’s My Return? tool or call the IRS at 800-829-1954 to check on the status of your refund. As soon as your tax return and refund are authorized, the IRS will give you an exact refund date.

There are a few ways to verify the status of your refund once you’ve e-filed your tax return. You can utilize the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool to find out where your refund is (fastest option). Call the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1954.

Based on the processing of your tax return, the tool will provide you with personalized refund information. As soon as the IRS reviews your tax return and confirms your refund, they will provide an exact refund date.

The majority of refunds are processed in less than 21 days. After you’ve e-filed your return, you’ll be able to monitor the status of your refund within 24 hours. Remember that e-filing and selecting direct deposit is the quickest way to receive your refund.

Guide to Surviving Tax Time

  1. Tax obligations are just one facet of your whole financial picture. A financial planner can help you make sense of your retirement, estate, and tax situations. With Smart Asset’s free matching service, you may be introduced to up to three local financial advisors who will all give you a free initial consultation in order to help you decide which one is right for you. You should start looking for a financial counsellor right away if you’re serious about reaching your financial objectives.

  2. The second piece of advice I can provide you if you still need to file your taxes is to carefully consider your choices. Among the many tax preparation options available, H&R Block and TurboTax seem to garner the most attention. Both are user-friendly and provide with detailed instructions on how to maximize your earnings. See how Smart Asset ranks TurboTax vs H&R Block and make an informed decision.

  3. Individual states process tax returns in accordance with their own protocols. Refunds can be processed quickly in some regions, while in others they may take weeks or months. Find out what you can do to check on your state tax refund.

  4. Adjusting your tax withholding could help if you’re having difficulties making ends meet and counting on your tax refund. The amount of tax withheld from your pay depends on how many exemptions you claim on Form W-4.

If you pay less in taxes, more of your paycheck will be available to you. You may be able to enhance your allowances if you receive a sizable tax refund.


1. How long does it take for a refund to be approved in 2021?

In most cases, the IRS issues refunds in less than 21 days. Beginning 24 hours after you e-file, you can utilize the IRS Where’s My Return? tool or call the IRS at 800-829-1954 to check on the status of your refund. As soon as your tax return and refund are authorized, the IRS will give you an exact refund date.

2. What does it mean when it says congratulations the IRS accepted your return?

Congratulations! Accepted implies your e-file has passed scrutiny (e.g., Social Security numbers are correct and dependents haven’t been claimed before) and the IRS has received your tax return.

3. Why is my refund taking so long?

If you don’t get your refund within 21 days, your tax return may need to be reviewed again. If your return was incomplete or erroneous, this might happen. If the IRS needs further information to process your return, it may send you instructions via mail.

4. Are refunds taking longer this year?

Yes, due to COVID-19 refunds are taking longer this year. We’re taking longer than usual to process sent correspondence, and it’s making us more than 21 days to process refunds for some written and e-filed 2020 tax returns that need to be reviewed. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your patience. In less than 21 days, the IRS processes more than 9 out of 10 refunds.

5. How long does it take to get accepted and approved?

From acceptance to approval, it can take anything from a few days to three weeks (21 days), and this timeline is unrelated to how, where, or when you filed, nor to how quickly you received your refund last year.

6. Is the IRS behind on refunds 2021?

This is partly due to the IRS’s massive backlog of 2021 returns. The IRS had a backlog of 6 million unprocessed individual returns as of December 31, down from a peak of 30 million in May, but significantly higher than the 1 million unprocessed returns seen around tax season’s start.

7. When can I expect my tax refund in 2022?

More tax refunds will be paid on March 1

On March 1, 2022, it could be heading your way. If you claimed the EITC or ACTC, your refund money could arrive on March 1 if the following conditions are met: You submitted your tax return via the internet. You have the option of receiving your refund via direct deposit.

8. What day do IRS deposit refunds?

Electronically filed tax returns must be received by January 24 to be submitted by January 31. Those who arrive by the 31st of January will be dispatch on February 11th. The following table lists the due-by date on the left, followed by the due-by date for the tax refund. What is the IRS CP80 Notice for the 2022 Tax Season?

9. Can tax refunds come early?

Depending on when a taxpayer files, their tax refund payments (check or direct transfer) can arrive in as little as 2-3 weeks. Early tax filers who are due a refund might typically obtain their money as early as mid or late February, just like in pre-Covid years.

10. Can a refund be rejected after being accepted?

No. The IRS cannot reject your return once it has been accepted. They may, if necessary, issue a letter or notification requesting extra assistance.


The length of time it takes to get your tax refund is determined by how and when you file your return. The fastest approach to earn your refund is to e-file your return and choose direct deposit as your method of payment. The IRS has stated that the vast majority of e-filers (who also use direct deposit for refunds) will receive their refund within 21 days for the 2021 tax year. Sending a paper return or obtaining your refund in the form of a paper check can cause processing to take months.

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