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.

Headshot of Jennifer Schell, writer for Annuity.org
  • Written By
    Jennifer Schell, CAS®

    Jennifer Schell, CAS®

    Financial Writer, Certified Annuity Specialist®

    Jennifer Schell is a professional writer focused on demystifying annuities and other financial topics including banking, financial advising and insurance. She is proud to be a member of the National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) as well as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Emily Miller
    Emily Miller, Managing Editor for Annuity.org

    Emily Miller

    Managing Editor

    Managing editor Emily Miller is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience as a researcher, writer and editor. Throughout her professional career, Emily has covered education, government, health care, crime and breaking news for media organizations in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Texas. She joined the Annuity.org team in 2016.

    Read More
  • Financially Reviewed By
    Chip Stapleton
    Chip Stapleton

    Chip Stapleton

    FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 License Holder

    Chip Stapleton is a financial advisor who has spent the past several years of his career working primarily in financial planning and wealth management. He is a FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 license holder and passed the CFA Level II exam in 2022.

    Read More
  • Updated: January 10, 2024
  • 5 min read time
  • This page features 12 Cited Research Articles

Tax Refund Schedule (2024 Tax Year)

The 2024 tax filing season, in which returns for the 2023 tax year are processed, began on Jan. 23, 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 previous tax year are already being processed and sent out to taxpayers all over the country. According to the IRS, as of December 2023, over 162 million refunds had been issued.

Looking to see what you might owe? Find out what Federal tax bracket you’re in

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.

RMDs: The Retirement Advantage You Can’t Afford to Miss

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be a game-changer in retirement planning. Uncover the advantages they offer and learn how they can contribute to a worry-free and prosperous retirement lifestyle.

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 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. 23, the first day the IRS began processing returns, you may not receive your refund until early March.

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.

How can you get a bigger tax refund?

Making sure you claim dependents and take advantage of all available tax credits can help you maximize your refund. Talking to a CPA or tax professional can give you personalized tax advice for your specific situation on how much tax you’ll get back.

When will child tax credit refunds be issued?

If you applied for the expanded child tax credit on your tax return, you may receive your refund later than expected. This is because the IRS is unable to issue refunds involving the additional child tax credit before mid-February. This delay is designed to give the IRS additional time to stop refund fraud.

When should I hire a tax attorney?

You may need to hire a tax attorney for a variety of business affairs or life events. Consider involving an attorney if you are being audited, want to leave money for your heirs, or are buying, selling or starting a business.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: January 10, 2024