When Will I Get My Tax Refund?
How soon you’ll receive your tax refund will vary depending on how and when you file your tax return, the accuracy of the information in your return and how you choose to receive your refund. You could see your refund in as little as 21 days.
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- Updated: September 20, 2022
- This page features 12 Cited Research Articles
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Tax Refund Schedule (2021 Tax Year)
The 2022 tax filing season, in which returns for the 2021 tax year are processed, began on Jan. 24, and the deadline to file your return is April 18.
The first step toward getting your refund is to file your tax return. To do so, you’ll need to gather identification and a W-2 statement from your employer or other earning statements like 1099 forms.
If you’re married, you need to choose whether you’ll file separate returns or a joint return. You’ll also have to decide how you’ll file your return — whether you’ll take it to a preparer or file it yourself using tax preparation software.
Once you file your return, the IRS will review it and approve or reject your return. If your return is approved and you are owed a refund, you should receive it in a matter of weeks. If your return is rejected, the IRS will notify you and let you know the next steps to correcting your return.
Refunds for the 2021 tax year are already being processed and sent out to taxpayers all over the country. According to the IRS, as of Feb. 4 over 4 million refunds had been issued.
How Long Does It Take To Get Your Tax Refund?
Many Americans look forward to receiving their tax refund each year to help make important personal finance decisions, and you may be wondering how soon you’ll get yours. The time it takes to receive your tax refund can vary based on several factors, including when and how you file your tax return.
According to the IRS, the best way to avoid delays on your tax refund is to file an accurate tax return using e-file software to file electronically and opting to receive your refund via direct deposit. Most filers who use this method should receive their refunds within 21 days of submitting their return online.
If you mail your return, you can expect to receive your refund in about six to eight weeks from the date the IRS receives your return. You can choose to receive your refund as a check in the mail, but keep in mind that you will likely receive your refund anywhere from a few days to a few weeks later than you would have with direct deposit due to transit time.
Whether filed electronically or on paper, all returns are opened and processed by the IRS in the order they are received, so the earlier you file your taxes, the earlier you’ll receive a refund.
How Long Does It Take the IRS To Approve a Refund?
The IRS reports that most returns are processed and approved within a few days of when they are received, and most refunds are issued less than 21 days after the return is received.
If you filed weeks ago and still haven’t received your return, there could be several reasons why you’re experiencing a delay. The most common causes for tax refund delays include simple math errors, inaccurate or missing information and missing signatures or attachments.
Tax returns with errors involving the third stimulus check, which was issued in early 2021, or returns that are missing information or have been flagged as suspected fraud or theft could be delayed for up to 90 to 120 days.
Taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the child tax credit (CTC) may also experience delays in receiving their refunds, even if their returns were filed accurately. Claiming these credits will slow down the processing of your return because of regulations designed to give the IRS time to deal with fraudulent returns. Even if you filed your return before Jan. 24, the first day the IRS began processing returns, you may not receive your refund until early March.
Is There a Delay on 2022 Tax Refunds?
Last year, many taxpayers ended up waiting longer than the usual 21 days — some as long as eight weeks — to receive their refunds as the IRS was dealing with the backlog of returns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IRS is still working through this backlog of 2020 tax returns. Because of this, many tax experts expect that some refunds will be delayed this year.
How To Check Your Tax Refund Status
You can check your tax return status online using the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? tool. To use this tool, you’ll need the following information:
- Your Social Security number or ITIN
- Your filing status
- Your exact refund amount
The tool can tell you the status of your refund from 24 hours after you e-file, or four weeks after you mail your return. The system is updated each day, usually overnight.
You can also call the IRS TeleTax System at 1-800- 829-4477 to check the status of your refund over the phone. Be aware that the volume of calls trying to reach IRS representatives is at an all-time high, and the IRS recommends that you do not attempt to call until 21 days after you e-file or four weeks after you mail your return.
Related Tax Refund Status Questions
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12 Cited Research Articles
Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.
- Kerr, E. (2022, January 6). (2022, January 6). How to Get the Biggest Tax Refund in 2022. Retrieved from https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/how-to-get-the-biggest-tax-refund-this-year
- Internal Revenue Service. (2022, February 17). Top 5 Things To Remember When Filing Income Tax Returns in 2022. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/top-5-things-to-remember-when-filing-income-tax-returns-in-2022
- Internal Revenue Service. (2022, February 17). Where’s My Refund? Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/refunds
- Internal Revenue Service. (2022, February 14). Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/refunds/tax-season-refund-frequently-asked-questions
- Internal Revenue Service. (2022, February 11). Filing Season Statistics for Week Ending February 04, 2022. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-season-statistics-for-week-ending-february-04-2022
- Internal Revenue Service. (2022, February 8). IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical Functions Continue. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue
- Internal Revenue Service. (2022, January 24). IRS Begins 2022 Tax Season; Urges Extra Caution for Taxpayers to File Accurate Tax Returns Electronically To Speed Refunds, Avoid Delays. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-begins-2022-tax-season-urges-extra-caution-for-taxpayers-to-file-accurate-tax-returns-electronically-to-speed-refunds-avoid-delays
- Internal Revenue Service. (n.d.) Refunds – How Long Should They Take? Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/at-01-48.pdf
- Picchi, A. (2022, February 16). Here’s How Long It Will Take To Get Your Tax Refund in 2022. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tax-refund-when-get-irs-returns-2022-02-16/
- Tompor, S. (2021, April 27). Where Is My Tax Refund and Why Is It Taking So Long to Get This Year? Some IRS Refunds Are Taking 6-8 Weeks. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/taxes/2021/04/22/where-is-2021-tax-refund-how-long-does-irs-take/7333786002/
- USA.gov. (2022, January 24). How to File Your Federal Taxes. Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/file-taxes
- Williams, G. (2018, October 2). Do You Need a Tax Attorney? Retrieved from https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/articles/2018-10-02/do-you-need-a-tax-attorney